Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes is with us today to share another a lovely list of recommendations for counting books…

My eldest is able to count confidently, but my littlest, aged 2, is just developing this skill…

Here is a list of our favorite counting books, ranging from timeless classics to newly released books.

We have multiple copies of this book! It is perfect for so many different areas of mathematics, be it numbers, time, color, repetition, pattern, science and life cycles.  It is a beautiful book and Eric Carle’s clever and signature collage artwork inspires children all over the world.

A delightful counting book in which you can extend in so many different ways.  When I read this book, we usually focus on sequential adding of the numbers, as well as cumulative adding.  Therefore we count not only 1 onion then two turnips and three thistles as we find the hidden garden items on each page, but we also add them together,so one onion + two turnips = three vegetables.  One onion, + two turnips + three thistles = 6 items hiding in the garden.

A perfect book for introducing ordinal numbers as you follow the path of ten little rubber ducks as they are washed overboard a container ship during a storm.

This book was mine as a child. When I had my first little boy, my parents gave this to me to read with him.  A lovely counting book from 1 – 10.

I am a fan of the beautiful illustration style of Alison Jay.  Each page in this counting primer contains a little bit of the page before and a little bit of the page to come hidden in the picture.  I adore looking for the little link. Alison also cleverly represents the number in focus again and again on the page.  For example, in the three little pigs page, not only do we see three pigs, but they are accompanied by three tea cups and saucers, three apples, three umbrellas, three cushions, three cupcakes and the list goes on.  It is a fun gave to play with the littles-seeing who can find another representation of the given number.

Alice Melvin’s artwork is simply precious and her books are adorable.

My little ones love Counting Birds.  This rhyming primer introduces a lot of different birds we were not familiar with, as well as focusing on numerals from 1 – 20.

The High Street is a counting book, but also focuses on memory and list making. The main character, Sally, goes to the High Street to buy an eclectic list of items ranging from a Persian rug to a cockatoo.  The pages open up to become a three page spread and it is simply beautiful. You could spend an entire afternoon looking at the beautiful details on each page. My little ones love books with additional little pockets and flaps and pop ups so The High Street is a favorite.

This book is magical. The illustrations alone are worth seeking out.  This is Anthony Browne at his very best.  Our youngest (aged 2) adores this book and enjoys telling us who the primates are on each page.  It would be wonderful to use as a provocation into a discussion on primates as the 10 representations are amazing and varied.

June books, the publishing house of the above titles, state on their website that they ‘aim to delight and inspire children, while introducing families to Montessori education. They create books that honor children and the important work they naturally undertake in the demanding task of self-development.’

“That 17th Hat” and “4, 962, 571” are both strongly based in numbers and are perfect for children with a more concrete understanding of numbers.  “4,962,571” is an excellent starting point for discussion about larger numbers and how to record them.

Both feature end pages which guide parents through the core Montessori principles addressed in the picture books.  This video shares both titles being read by the author.

A delightful tale of mice teaching the friends of ten.  Friends of ten being 10 + 0, 9 + 1, 8 + 2, 7 + 3, 6 + 4, 5 + 5, 4 + 6, 3 + 7, 2 + 8, 1 + 9, 0 + 10 .

This book allows the reader to experience numbers in multiple ways. Not only can you count the numbers as quantities, but there are also sandpaper numerals to trace to help reinforce number formation.

Please feel free to share any of your favorite number picture books below.  I have a few other more advanced number books, which I will share in the coming months.

Rebecca has a love for travel, the outdoors, and picture books, and enjoys spending her time sourcing delightful educational experiences to share with her two sons.With a background in early childhood and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Tasmania, Rebecca teaches at a private all girls school in Australia. Her passion for the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and Maria Montessori lead Rebecca to Playful Learning many years ago when she first enrolled in the online Playful Learning Spaces workshop.  She shortly became a regular contributor, mainly focusing on children’s literature. Rebecca is currently working on a modern day primer for children, called Alphabet Town under the label bec + georg.