Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Children's Book Roundup: Counting Books!

Here at A Puppet Opera HQ, we are keen consumers of children's books. Now that Isabelle is learning to read on her own (!!!) we seem to be going through them at a rate of knots. So I thought I'd start a little running feature rounding up some of our favorites. To start off, our three favorite counting books!   This charming little book, Count the Sheep to Sleep by Philippa Rae is the newest addition to our library, and Isabelle has requested it every night since it came to live at our house. Starting at ten, the little girl happily drifts off to sleep as the sheep suffer one silly mishap or another. Out of control roller skates, crazy dance moves, jumping a little bit too high. The rollicking cadence of the rhyme makes it fun to read aloud, and the nutso illustrations by Stephanie Röhr appeal to a four-year-old with a taste for disaster, and Isabelle, at least, is already a big fan.

    It's impossible not to love illustrator Charley Harper's 1,2,3 counting book. Short on words but long on style, you can introduce your child to counting and cool 1950' animal illustrations at the same time. This was Isabelle's first counting book, and she loved counting the mod ladybug lounging, the birds nesting and the water-striders gliding. The image for the seven fish watching is worth the purchase price of this book alone. You will love reading it with your little ones, and love seeing it lying around your coffee table too.

   For those parents with English Lit degrees who can't stand the inanity of most of the books that appeal to kids under five, the Baby Lit library has a whole range of hilarious counting books based on the classics. In our house alone you will also find versions of Romeo and Juliet and Jane Eyre for little readers, but the best of this series is unquestionably Pride and Prejudice. Lovingly rendered by Jennifer Adams, we get the gist of Jane Austen's Original (two rich gentlemen, five sisters, seven soldiers, ten thousand pounds a year) in ten sweet pages. It is a hilarious and charming take on this most popular of novels, and I hope when Isabelle comes to read it for real, she will in the back of her mind have some dim memory of Alison Oliver's adorable illustrations, and recognize the characters as familiar friends.

What are some of your favorite counting books for little ones? Do tell!


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