Archive for the ‘Book recommendation’ Category

Little Rabbit Foo Foo is a page turner!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010


Little Rabbit Foo Foo, a storybook by Michael Rosen, charmed my  three and four-year old grandchildren. No matter how many times we read it, they couldn’t wait to turn the page and see Little Rabbit Foo Foo bop yet another creature on the head despite Good Fairy’s warnings!


Within one afternoon, they had memorized the book and knew when to turn the page. My daughter grew up with the song/game so it was fun to see her children enjoy it so. The illustrations by Arthur Robins of Rabbit Foo Foo riding through a forest on a motorbike, red mallet poised in the air are delightful as is the put-upon Good Fairy. For the children, it was thrilling to see naughty Rabbit Foo Foo defy the Good Fairy but there were consequences.  Your little ones will love it!


Be sure to also teach your children the game.  Children sit in a circle and recite the verses as a child in the role of naughty Little Rabbit Foo Foo circles the group and then lightly taps one of the children on the head who in turn becomes Rabbit Foo Foo.








Book Recommendation: BUNCHES and BUNCHES of BUNNIES by Louise Matthews

Friday, June 18th, 2010

bunches-and-bunches-of-bunniesFrom time to time, I’ll be posting about favorite children’s books.  Some will have math  stories and others will be favorite storybooks.  I want your child to fall in love with numbers and understand math concepts but I also want your child to fall in love with words!  

Reading to your children not only enhances their vocabulary but also stimulates their imagination.  If you have a passion for reading, your child will too!  Reading to your child is not only fun but creates a special bond between you and your child.  Please add your child’s favorite book in the Leave a Reply box below so that other children will enjoy these too.

        Here’s a  favorite multiplication book: 

    BUNCHES and BUNCHES of BUNNIES  by Louise Matthews, published by Scholastic with delightful illustrations by Jeni Bassett.

    Your child too will have fun reading about these cute, silly little bunnies while learning basic principles of multiplication.  Each page illustrates what happens when you square a number, that is multiply a number by itself  (1 x 1,  2 x 2,  3 x 3, etc.)   till we end up with 144 bunny relatives living in one house!  Each multiplication has a four line poem with a cute, memorable rhyme such as:       

                                 Count the bunnies at the ball,

                                 Rabbit partners, short and tall,

                                 Now the music comes alive,

                                 And 5 x 5 is 25.




Book Recommendation: ANNO’S MAGIC SEEDS

Friday, June 18th, 2010

annos-magic-seedsIf you haven’t come across Anno’s storybooks with their beautiful watercolor illustrations, you and your children are in for a special treat! 

See what happens to Jack when a wizard gives him two golden seeds and tells him to eat one and bury the other.   Jack’s planting these seeds introduces children not only to the concept of multiplying but also investing in the future.  As Jack reaps more and more abundant harvests, he marries and has a child.  When a hurricane wipes out his crops, Anno is able to begin anew because ten golden seeds have been saved. 

This enchanting tale entertwines literature, art and math concepts.  Parents and teachers will reap rewards with this book.  Why not stimulate interest in math by seeing mathematical concepts in an a enchanting “real world” storybook context?     The beautiful illustrations alone tell the story.  The youngest of your children too will be turning page after page.

Book Recommendation: 26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban

Friday, June 18th, 2010


Many of you have come across Tana Hoban’s fun books.  Her 26 Letters and 99 Cents will delight your preschool to kindergarden child or even an older child who has trouble figuring out how to add pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  This book is in fact two books in one.  One book presents upper and lower-case letters beside colorful objects beginning with that letter. 

Turn the book OVER and numbers are pictured with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters totaling that amount.  Your child is learning not only about numbers and  grouping but also  money.  While reading this book to your child, expand the lessons by having a pocketful of change on the table and having your child figure out how many ways to make 35 cents with all pennies, or all nickels or a combination of coins.  Your child is learning number concepts and addition.   Why not develop your child’s “number sense” at an early age?  This fun book will engage your child!

What are your child’s favorite Tana Hoban books?

Book Recommendation: APPLE FRACTIONS by Jerry Pallotta

Monday, May 3rd, 2010


 Who knew a book about ablogphotos5pples and math could be so engaging? In Apple Fractions, author Jerry Pallotta and illustrator Rob Bolster teach children all about fractions and all about apples.  Tiny elves, smaller than the apples themselves, use saws and ladders and ropes and mallets to divide McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Granny Smiths, Red Delicious, Gala and Cortland apples into halves, thirds, fourths and more.  Children will enjoy seeing the tiny elves toil away and at last make cider, apple juice and apple pie. The text is well-written and the illustrations delightful.  Your child will learn the underlying concept of  how the whole can be divided evenly into increasingly smaller pieces we call fractions.   A terrific picture book!

Happy Valentine’s Day Book Recommendation: My Love for You by Susan Roth

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

How to express the depth of your love for your child on Valentine’s or for that matter any day  of the year?   Do you tell your child, “I love you as big as the sky” as I did with my children?  With this little counting book, you can express your love for your child as you teach numbers 1 through 10.

Through the eyes of a white mouse and a smaller brown mouse, you will journey on a wild-animal adventure.  The book begins: MY LOVE FOR YOU . . . Turn the page and read:  is bigger than 1 bear.  The next page tells you: taller than 2 giraffes.  And the next: larger than 3 blue whales. (Notice we’re developing good language skills in the use of comparative adjectives.)   The books ends with the sentiment that “my love for you is greater than all of these together . . .  forever.”

The illustrations in the book are delightful!  The landscapes are made of multi-layered, translucent tissue-paper collages similar to those your child will make in school.  These give the pages an amazing depth.  Some of the animals  are made out of construction paper. Explore with your child how the patterns on the 5 pythons are made out of simple  rectangles, squares and triangles.  Why not sit down with your child and construct your own as an art project?  Or maybe cut out two giraffes and apply small brown squares to  make a  giraffe mosaic?  This book will inspire you.

I recommend this book not only for its lovely sentiment (the two little mice can represent a parent and child, an older and younger sibling or simply two friends), the counting skills it imparts but also the art.  This charming little book will delight your child on Valentine’s or and other day!

Book recommendation: EZ Times Tables by Tom Biesanz

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

                         Tom Biesanz,  a formez-times-tableser math teacher in Santa Barbara, contacted me soon after publication of my workbook and told me  he’d posted the following review on Amazon:

[Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables]  is a big book full of fun pattern and number exercises for kids that make learning fun. I thought about creating a book of worksheets to go with my EZ Times Table book, but this book does such a great job, I would rather just recommend this one.

We chatted on the phone about our interest in teaching the times tables through patterns, which we both believe is a much better way of teaching multiplication. Fun to hear from someone who shared my passion! Tom sent me a copy of his book and I posted the following review on Amazon:

Learning the times tables becomes a game as children learn fun patterns while filling in the EZ TIMES TABLES charts. Instead of leaning one math fact at a time (which is not only difficult but highly inefficient), children learn a pattern for the entire table. Table by table, they construct a times tables matrix for tables 1-10. Pattern play develops number sense. EZ TIMES TABLES will intrigue your child.

If you child has become fascinated by pattern play, check out this excellent resource.  Why not have our children and students discover the magic of math at an early age?  If your third grader is intrigued with math and pursues this passion, just think of the great careers open your child.

Book recommendation: Brown Rabbit’s Shape Book by Alan Baker

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

brown-rabbits-shape-bookSee what happens when a mysterious package, a big yellow box, arrives for Brown Rabbit.  Page by page, Brown Rabbit discovers, as will your child, all sorts of interestingly shaped objects inside such as:  a rectangle, a circle, a square and so on. Beautifully illustrated, this deceptively simple book packs a  big lesson in basic geometry.   The storyline is fun and engaging. Brown Rabbit is a delightful character to explore the world of shapes with.  Highly recommended for your preschool child.   

I came across this book at my library’s “Friends’ Bookstore.”  Be sure to see if your local bookstore has one as it’s a great place to buy books for your children.  Over the years, I have bought hundreds of books priced 25 to 50 cents!  Some of the pop-up books are a bit more expensive but still a huge bargain.  Your home should be filled with books.  As I’ve said before, reading to your child, sharing a picture book with him or her is an act of love.

Book Recommendation: Anno’s Counting Book

Monday, January 11th, 2010

annos-counting-book3For the young child in your family who is just learning to count, I recommend  Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno.

This beautifully illustrated picture book for numbers 0-12 is a delight!  Each of the double-page watercolor illustrations depicts a landscape.   In the right margin, the featured number appears.  In the left margin, there’s a column of 10 boxes.  The appropriate box for the featured number is colored in.

The book begins with a desolate, snow-covered landscape .  The only color is the light blue of a sky and a frozen river.  There is not one house, tree,  person or farmhouse.   Your child will grasp the “nothingness” of zero.

Turn the page for number 1 and 1 appears in the right margin.  On the left, box 1 is colored in the ten-box column. Now in the snowy terrain, we see a bridge across the river and one tree, one skier,  one snowman, one dog and one farmhouse.   Because there’s no text on the page, you and your child can make up your own story about the little village, its people, their activities and what they say to each other.

Turn the page to number 2.  It’s early spring.  The snow is melting; fields are turning brown.  We now see a church not far from the farmhouse as well as two trucks , two men, two pine trees, two children running.  Your child will have fun pointing out all the pairs on the page.   For number 3, it’s early spring and guess how many canoes are on the river?

The last illustration is number 12.  It’s Christmastime in the village!  Villagers gather in the snow round a Christmas tree as reindeer fly through the sky. Each of the twelve illustrations have chronicled the year.  Seasons pass as the little village grows, children play, crops are harvested and the clock on the church steeple marks the hour.

Have your child “read” to you as you turn each page.   The little village and its inhabitants provide lots of room for imagination.   A gem of a book!  Full parent participation is required to make the village come to life.

Book Recommendation: MY FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Now that school is starting, you might want to read this cute book by P.K. Hallinan to your kindergardener.  Each page humorously illustrates typical anxieties five-year old Daniel has about the first day of school:  Where will I sit on the school bus?  Will my teacher be nice?  Will I make friends?  

Daniel discovers is that kindergarden is not only fun but that “learning to learn is a great thing to do.”   The story is told in a catchy rhyme.  Your child will want to read it again and again and share with you his/her triumphs the first week of school!