Friday, January 2, 2015

From 1 to 100

The design of Countablock is as enticing as the text by Christopher Franceschelli and the illustrations by Peskimo. Young children can touch each numeral as they count from 1 to 10 (and then by 10s to 100). They can see that 6 and 8 have curves, and that 4 and 7 are angular. They can begin to recognize the numerals on sight, just as they would sight words such as "the" and "and."

From Countablock
At a time when children are learning at their most rapid rate, they can gain a full experience of seeing, touching and sounding out the names of these numbers as well as counting the objects. The book is beautiful to behold, the text stimulates thinking, guessing and problem-solving, and the pages are chunky enough for little hands to grip and turn, over and over again.

Children will appreciate the book's additional layers as their developmental skills widen and deepen. Author and artists (Peskimo is a husband-and-wife illustrator team) pay homage to both the beauty of the natural world (20 caterpillars that transform into 20 butterflies), and humor (with 40 eggs that include 39 of the more common white or beige variety, but also a large green egg that cracks open to reveal a surprise occupant). There is much to savor in these pages.

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