CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 9 . . . . November 2, 2012
Lizann Flatt combines numbers and nature in Counting on Fall, the first in Owlkids' "Math in Nature" series. Through poetic rhymes, Flatt engages young readers in basic math and problem-solving skills.
"Might monarchs make sure their roosts are arranged so they're tucked up just so in ten rows? Can you count the butterflies by tens?" Readers are prompted to interact with the text and apply simple addition and subtraction skills while simultaneously learning about the natural world of autumn. Further, readers are also provided with a supplementary "Nature Notes" glossary of animal names and habitats-deciduous trees, eastern gray squirrels, black bears, etc.-that are featured throughout the story. Counting on Fall provides a rich balance of number sense and numeration with the lyrical and informative world of the story.
Ashley Barron's bright, and colorful cut-paper collage illustrations are incredibly captivating. The strikingly beautiful layers of paper art truly draw the reader into the educational storyline. Barron's use of paper collage evokes depth and dimension to Flatt's interactive storyline.
Counting on Fall is highly recommended for school library collections because it successfully combines language, illustration, concepts of number sense, and information about animals and their habitats. The story is very engaging, visually appealing, and informative. I look forward to the next book in the new "Math in Nature" series, Sorting Through Spring.
Natalie Schembri studies children's literature at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
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