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Springtime Is Here

Flowers, raindrops, hatching eggs, ducks and lambs! These are the things that shout, “Springtime is here!” It’s time to visit the farm and feed the ducks at the park and explore the delights of spring. It’s also an excellent time to learn counting and basic math skills while celebrating spring. Incorporating counting books in your daily reading repertoire helps children practice one-to-one correspondence, number recognition and number order—both forward and backward. Plus, they are simultaneously building reading skills while practicing numeracy. It’s a win-win! Here are four books to get you started.

Ducks on the Road by Anita Lobel (Simon &Shuster 2021). When a family of ducks go out on a stroll through the park, Mama and Papa duck fail to notice that the ducklings have minds of their own. Each duckling stops one-by-one to greet different animals. They say “hello” to Frog, Squirrel, Rabbit and Mouse. As the waddling procession proceeds, Mama and Papa duck finally notice that their little ducklings have all disappeared. “Oh, no,” they quack. “Our little ducks are gone.” Their dilemma resolves though and all the ducks end up back swimming in the pond. Young children will delight in counting ducks one through ten as well as identifying other animals.

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How to Two by David Soman (Penguin Random House, 2019). With simple text and whimsical illustrations, this book introduces counting and reverse-counting as well as celebration of play and friendship. Count the children at the park playing springtime games such as jumping in puddles, turtle hunting in ponds, skipping and playing in the rain. The book features diverse families and celebration of friendship. Young readers can count one child on a slide, two children on a seesaw, three children skipping and finally 10 children running in the park. This book shows how kids can have fun with one, two or a whole crew of friends.

Bird Watch by Christie Matheson (Harper Collins 2019). Search and count for hidden birds in this interactive picture book. Whether they’re hunting for warblers or robins, readers will be using their counting and I-Spy skills. With beautiful watercolour illustrations, young children will count different species of birds and forest animals hiding in the trees and foliage. Readers learn to count backwards from 10 chickadees hiding in a pine tree to one owl soaring in the night sky. This book encourages children to get outside and take in the beauty of springtime and find our feathered friends.

Ducks Away by Mem Fox (Scholastic Press 2016). This is a playful counting book that is perfect for springtime. Count along with Mother Duck as she guides her ducklings over a bridge. As the little ducklings each fall over the edge into the river, Mother Duck must decide how to save her ducklings. “Oh no,” quacked Mother Duck. “What should I do?” The repeated text encourages interactive reading and introduces counting up to five and counting up and down. It is delightfully illustrated with bold lines and basic colours.

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