The Number Garden by Sara Pinto

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The Number Garden by Sara Pinto

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: This delightful book is ideal for helping children recognise numbers. However, encourage them to take a closer look and they will discover a delightful story about misbehaving rabbits, naughty gnomes and dancing sunflowers along with a host of other colourful characters who live in the Number Garden.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 28 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing plc
ISBN: 978-1408800379

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At first sight, The Number Garden looks like a very simple counting book suitable for very small children who are just beginning to know their numbers. However, look again and you will see that it is actually a wonderfully mischievous little story that all children will love.

The story is told by Sara Pinto whose artwork is exceptional. Like traditional counting books, each page introduces us to a number and the object or objects that represent it. In this case we have one sun, two rabbits, three lawn chairs and so on all the way up to twelve. All of the objects are themed, unsurprisingly, around the garden and young children are very likely to want to count up all the different objects.

But the fun is only just starting though because what makes this book really special is the way all of these different objects contribute to a story full of mayhem and mischief!

Each double page is presented in the same way. On the left hand side is a big number, starting with 1 and with the word spelt underneath. On the right hand page there is the picture representing that number. For number one we see a lovely big sun rising above a gate. In fact all of the objects are in front of the gate that leads into the garden. Every gate is actually a flap and when your child opens it wide they will find themselves inside the Number Garden where all things are likely to happen!

The trouble starts when the two rabbits enter. First they find three lawn chairs and look set for a relaxing day but then four garden tools appear. These fun loving rabbits are never going to use them in a conventional way and instead turn the wheelbarrow into a boat filled with water. As you move on up through the numbers the garden becomes more and more chaotic and we love it when the seven gnomes and eight sunglasses appear. The gnomes get up to all sorts and you'd be surprised how many different ways sunglasses can be worn by gnomes, rabbits, sunflowers, garden tools, and a host of other garden objects.

Finally twelve stars appear signalling that it is the end of a very busy day in the garden. At this point the rabbits and gnomes are totally flaked out and Chinese lanterns are wearing sunglasses. The garden that appeared so serene and calm with just one rising sun at the start of the book is now strewn with debris!

The pictures are all crazy but that is part of the appeal of this book. Both my daughters fell in love with it as soon as they saw it and they love going through all the pages chanting the list of different things that they see. They also pour over the magnificent illustrations and every time they seem to spot something new that appeals and amuses them. It has really prompted a great deal of discussion between the two girls.

This book is truly delightful and one that children are unlikely to tire of. I recommend it for any age!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

A different counting book with a fun theme is The Selfish Crocodile Counting Book by Faustin Charles and Michael Terry.

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Buy The Number Garden by Sara Pinto at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Number Garden by Sara Pinto at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Number Garden by Sara Pinto at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Number Garden by Sara Pinto at


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