Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry

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Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: It's not a lie - this is one of the BEST counting books ever, and has been for almost 40 years.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: January 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007531141

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You might not be aware, but there are lots of ways to count. In cheerleading, for example, the number after 8 is 1, and counting often starts at 5. As in 5,6,7,8,1. And sometimes instead of 5 we say ‘fast’. My sister used to try to convince people that 3 was pronounced ‘tap’ and 4 was ‘paw’. Don’t worry, she’s now an astrophysicist and counts properly.

For the more straight-laced out there, who believe number are set in stone and variation is unacceptable, you needn’t worry with this book. All the numbers from 1 to 20 march along properly, with not a single one stepping out of turn. After that things are thinner on the ground, as we go up in 10s from 30 to 100, but again there’s no creative order or anything silly. If you need a book to help with counting skills, there’s nothing to fear with this one.

There are a number of things I like about this book. One is the illustrations which are reminiscent of the Richard Scarry books of my youth, not surprising since this is a reissue of a book that first hit the shelves in 1975. They are bright and colourful, but simple too and the restrained plain colour pallet is refreshing in a world of patterns and glitter.

Next up, I like that there’s a bit of a story. Because this is a book for counting higher than just 1 to 10, it’s aimed at a slightly older child so it’s a bonus to have some text in there too, which brings the characters to life.

Finally, I like the inclusion of basic sums that help cement the significance of the numbers rather than them just being words that come in a specific order. Some are explicit and some are more subtle such as the fire is in Mother Cat’s oven where she is baking eight pies. Five pies are burned but three are baked just right. See that? 8 pies minus 5 burnt pies equals 3 good ones. There’s lots of room for discussion and exploration too. After all the bunnies have two eyes, hands, feet and ears…and so do you. And you can’t help but adore the dinner scene where the family have 90 carrots and a small loaf of bread and pat of butter. Bless.

Overall, this is a well-designed counting book that has stood the test of time for obvious reasons, and I’d like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review.

Best Word Book Ever and Best Bedtime Stories Ever by Richard Scarry continue the theme.

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Buy Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry at


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