Tired of counting the days you’ve been in stuck at home during this global pandemic? Try counting some goats with your…ahem… kids.
Didn’t crack a smile at that last pun? Here’s a counting book that is actually funny.
In Let’s Count Goats, Mem Fox’s humorous and fun rhyming text invites children to identify and count a whole host of goats ranging in size, silliness, and profession. The question, Can we count the____goats? is posed throughout the book. Here is one of my son’s favorite pages as an example.
Illustrator Jan Thomas’s bold and colorful illustrations are sure to inspire giggles amidst counting. Here’s a favorite image from the book.
Let’s Count Goats is ideal for ages 3 to 6.
This book offers the opportunity for readers to count sets of goats ranging from 1 to 10.
After reading this book, I asked my son what he thought. He’s three and gave it a “I love it.” He calls it the “goat book” and we read it often. Here is a bit about the two main magical ingredients we found in this book.
Magical ingredient 1: Humor
If I were to list some of my children’s favorite picture books, funny always tops the list. Funny books are magical. The sound of a child’s laughter is sure to bring a smile to your face. The goats in this book are silly. Both the table and the suitcase eating goat garnered a giggle with every read. The police goat is my son’s favorite goat, with the firefighter goat a close second. Let’s Count Goats is a great way to mix learning with some laughter.
Magical Ingredient 2: Invitation. [Here’s a post I wrote about this magical ingredient of invitation with a few more magical books that illustrate it wonderfully.]
Love how this book invites participation. When the texts prompts the reader, “Can we count the pilot goats?”, it doesn’t give the answer on the next page. After each question posed in Let’s Count Goats, my son shares his answer by carefully pointing at each goat (an important process as a child is develops one-to-one correspondence). Some pages he silently points to each goat. Other pages he says number words as he points. The number words he uses typically begin correctly with one, then two. Often seven was the next number name in the sequence (counting 1, 2, 7). Some pages I count along with him as he points (sometimes he asks me to, but not always), but mostly I sit back and observe as he works out the process of counting.
The counting process is complex process to work out as a novice. Imagine being a novice counter and every time you count something in a book, you turn the page and hear a different answer. As my three-year old is making sense of the counting process, I enjoy reading a mix of counting books. We read some books where the number words (i.e., answers) are given on the following page and some where the counts are left solely to the reader. Counting books like Let’s Count Goats provide an opportunity to listen as our children take the lead and share what they are learning about counting from us and the world.
Let’s Count Goats is a keeper on our list of magical counting books. What fun, silly and/or magical books do you enjoy with your children and students? Please share them in the comments. We’d love to check them out!
If you’d like to receive these magical math book posts every month, be sure to follow this blog in the side bar of this page.
Thanks and see you soon! Touch #mathbookmagic, pass it on.