Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

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Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Join Bear and his pals in a walk through the woods that will reveal more than its fair share of numbered groupings in this excellent educational counting book for younger toddlers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781471125454

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If a bear approaches you in the woods and asks you for help counting, the only numbers you will need to be aware of are the steps you take pegging it in the opposite direction. Thankfully, the bear of this story is a friendly creature and he hangs out mostly with his woodland pals and not terrified humans. Can he help us count to five before the terror grips us?

Bear and pals love living in the forest because there is so much to see and do. A typical day consists of wandering the woods and pointing out what is happening. How many fish can we see fishing, or frogs leaping? There are loads of things to count and everyone knows that counting is fun, fun, fun (that’s three funs, number fans).

Counting books for toddlers are a great way of helping a 1-4 year old with their basic numbers, but some of them can be pretty dull. Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman's Bear Counts is anything but. This is a fantastically realised counting book that may have a simple story, but more importantly is a great way for children to engage with their numbers. Rather than having one instance of counting on each page, you get several. Bear and friends will stumble upon a scene and there will be many different sets of activities going on; three logs, three fish, three mushrooms. Trying to find all the groupings is great fun and really adds to what could have been a very basic counting book.

Having an involved counting method is not quite enough for a book like Bear Counts to really stand out, but Wilson and Chapman have this covered in their great writing and beautiful imagery. Wilson has produced a rhyming style that works perfectly. Bear comes across a scene and describes what is going on, all in a perfect rhyme that ends in a number. Books for sharing often try to create a nice rhyme, but sometimes they feel stilted, here they roll off the tongue making the book a joy to read aloud and to listen to.

Chapman’s drawings also play a large role in making the book fun to read. This is one of many Bear adventures and it is easy to see the popularity as Chapman’s clean style is very eye catching. The animals have an old fashioned feel to them, but there is plenty of colour and action on each page to make the illustrations also feel modern. I always find that the best children’s books aimed at toddlers have a little more going on in the page that you can discuss with your child; that is certainly the case here as you can spend many joyful minutes noting what all the animals are up to.

Bear Counts is an educational story book that covers all the bases that you would want and more. It only goes up to five, so is most suitable for early toddlers, but these five numbers are treated wonderfully and the book rattles along with a great rhyming style and characters that you will love.

How many counting books can you see? One, Elmer's First Counting Book by David McKee, two, Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry, three, The Selfish Crocodile Counting Book by Faustin Charles and Michael Terry.

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Buy Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman at


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