10 for 10 Picture Books is hosted by Cathy Mere, educator and blogger at Reflect & Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy Robek, educator and blogger at Enjoy and Embrace Learning. All of the lists are collected in a single spot to be used as a continual resource. Here is the link for all the participants last year. In 2012 I listed ten plus two top alphabet books. It's not that I'm necessarily a rule breaker but this is very hard. For 2013 I could only narrow it down to fifteen so Xena picked her top ten dog books out of those.
This year I decided again to focus on titles which might be considered strictly for younger students. All of them can used to spread the joy of numbers and counting. Sharing these books with them is pure fun. I think laughter and learning are a pretty good combination. Each of them also offers opportunities for older students to draw, search for images and write; making their own versions.
Here are my top ten...eleven...books on counting and numbers. If a link is embedded in the title, it takes you to my complete review of the book.
1. 1-2-3 Peas (Beach Lane Books, 2012) Keith Baker
2. Count The Monkeys (Disney Hyperion Books, 2013) Mac Barnett, author, Kevin Cornell, illustrator
When we are asked by a friend to put the silverware on the table, we expect to see forks, spoons and knives in the drawer, not screwdrivers, wrenches and hammers. I'm here to tell you, readers, when you open the cover of Count the Monkeys (Disney Hyperion Books) by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Kevin Cornell, you can take any expectations you might have and throw them out the window. You are lured into the pages of this book expecting to count...well...monkeys.
3. 123 versus ABC (Harper, 2013) Mike Boldt
Beginning with my youngest patrons' first visit, through song, dance and hand motions, I introduce letters and numbers explaining, one will help them find fiction (even if organized by genre), the other will give them direction in locating nonfiction materials. I tell them repeatedly year after year, if they know their letters and can count, they will be able to locate the correct book in any library. The two systems, alphabetical and numerical, work together to create addresses for every item in the library. Their school library is a lively practice field for using the public library, moving them toward independence.
In this respect numbers and letters or letters and numbers have equal importance. But in that wonderful world of "What-If", what happens when letters and numbers arrive at the same place at the same time believing themselves to be the guest of honor?
Musk Ox Counts (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2013) Erin Cabatingan, author, Matthew Myers, illustrator
Five-year-old children are not the only ones who get a kick out of knowing numbers. The dubious duo who made their first appearance in A Is For Musk Ox have returned. Mr. Que Sera Sera is still driving his striped companion crazy with his inability to follow the plan.
5. Flight 1-2-3 (Chronicle Books, 2013) Maria van Lieshout
Flight 1-2-3 captures the same magic in the exploring of an airport, the deciphering of the signage, counting what can be seen and traveling by plane. It is a companion to her Backseat A-B-See (Chronicle Books, April 11, 2012).
6. Ten Little Caterpillars (Beach Lane Books, 2011) Bill Martin Jr, author, Lois Ehlert, illustrator
With every other line rhyming Martin created counting verses with a catchy cadence. Readers follow each of these ten caterpillars into their habitats of flowers, fruits, vegetables, a pool, weeds and even the sea matched by close encounters with fowl, fish and feathered friends of the backyard, woods and field. They are never idle, always in motion; crawling, wriggling, climbing, falling or scaling. When the number ten is reached that little caterpillar hangs in stillness awaiting the change the spring will bring---miraculous metamorphosis.
7. One Two That's My Shoe! (Disney Hyperion, 2011)
As in the first book, Apple Pie ABC, Georgie and his human, Grace, are characters in the retelling of an old nursery rhyme. Alison Murray's version of "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" is a series of classic "catch-me-if-you-can" snapshots. This youthful chant has never been better than when altered by the clever words and artwork of Murray.
8. 1 to 20, Animals Aplenty (POW) Katie Viggers
This rhyming counting book will have readers singing along before they (or you) know what is happening.
1 fox in a pair of socks
2 gorillas looking in mirrors
3 llamas wearing pajamas
At times one page ties in with another creating a delightful continuity. The illustrations are simply charming. At the end a one through ten pyramid with a corresponding eleven through twenty pyramid provide tiny thumbnails of the previous pictures. The closing endpapers feature a world map with the animals placed in their habitats. When differentiation is needed the kinds of animals are labeled.
9. Bugs by the Numbers (Blue Apple Books, 2011) Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss
Readers are surrounded by numbers at every turn of the page. Squiggling lines attached to numbers decorate the front and back endpapers. Upon closer inspection the lines are facts about the bug featured with that number. What this typographical wizard duo has done is to combine research with art. Rarely has a more captivating technique been employed to make learning so appealing. (Do a Google image search for the title to get peeks inside the book. It is amazing,)
10. Baby Bear Counts One (Beach Lane Books, 2013) Ashley Wolff
As humans we get to not only share in the explorations of our own young but also in those of the animal world. If we could comprehend how it might be for them, Baby Bear Counts One is an appealing example. This companion to the gorgeous Baby Bear Sees Blue is as warm and engaging further bonding us to the lovable cub and his mother. Sounds leads to enumerating elements in this bear cub's world.
11. Dog Loves Counting (Alfred A. Knopf) Louise Yates
I know I can count on all of you to take time for reading. Enjoy!