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# The Number Garden

## by Sara Pinto

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2009 (1) ADL (1) Notables (1) Part B (1) richiespicks (1)

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Pinto, Sara. (2009). The number garden. New York: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s
Books.

This book shows children the numbers from 1 to 12. Each set of facing pages shows the number, along with the word for the number on one side and a picture of items from a garden equal to the number on the other. The numbers and pictures are in bright colors that match. For example, for number one, the number is blue and it background is yellow and the item is a yellow sun against a garden fence and above is a blue sky. The child will notice that on each page there is another picture under a “door” beneath the picture of the item(s). That picture adds to the pattern by showing every garden figure previously shown in the same number they first appeared, now interacting with the all other garden objects.

The pictures and text compliment each other beautifully in this book, giving the child a delightful way to learn their numbers up to 12 and keeping him or her interested no matter how many times it is read to him or her.

Comparison to Count the Birdies

The Number Garden is much more complex than Count the Birdies.
Its pictures show not only the corresponding number of items in a garden, but also have a door to open and more pictures showing more patterns. The final pages asking the child to name to total “numbers” in the garden offers older or brighter or more developed children a challenge to count well beyond twelve. Count the Birdies does the same thing as The Number Garden on one level, when it matches birds to the number on each page, but it does this in a more simple way. ( )
TeacherLibrarian | Aug 1, 2010 |
Richie's Picks: THE NUMBER GARDEN by Sara Pinto, Bloomsbury, March 2009, 26p. lift the flap board book, ISBN: 978-1-99990-048-3

"Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro"
-- Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, intro to "Wooly Bully," one of my favorite childhood counting songs

Here are some of the concepts I learned today by lifting the flaps on the pages of Sara Pinto's new board book, THE NUMBER GARDEN:

Prepositions: above, behind, beneath, between, inside, near, next to, on top of, over, under, upon
Colors: yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green, brown, black, white
Shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, star
Astronomy: Earth turns round and round so it appears like the sun is going across the sky.
Agriculture: When I plant seeds in soil in a sunny place and water them, they will grow. I can differentiate crops I planted from weeds that I did not plant.
Physics: What happens when I build up pressure in a hose and then suddenly let it escape? How might I take advantage of pressure and propulsion?
Physical education: I can practice maintaining my center of gravity and get good exercise by doing the Limbo.
Gross motor play: I can try to balance odd-shaped objects upon one another.
(Oh, and I also learned how to count up to 78, which is the sum of 1+2+3...+12.)

I have never tired of playing with Sara Pinto's previous lift the flap board book THE ALPHABET ROOM which was published by Bloomsbury in 2003. It is hysterical! You begin with an empty room (from which you can learn about perspective) and throw in a few (A for) apples. The first spread has "A" and "apples" on the left page; a painting of the apples on the right (flap) page; and if you then lift the flap you find the apples in the alphabet room. The next spread is "B" and "bowls" (One is a fruit bowl, the other a fish bowl, which will soon come in handy.) and when you lift the flap, you have the bowls and apples (re)arranged in the alphabet room. So what happens when you keep adding more and more stuff to the alphabet room and rearranging the growing collection? It is hours of fun! Six years later I am still giggling.

By the end of the alphabet, the room is filled with: apples, bowls, cat, dog, egg, fish, guitar, hat, ivy, jester, kite, lamb, moustache, newspaper, owl, painting, quilt, raincoat, snake, table, umbrella, violin, window, xylophone, yarn, and zebra. An example of the ongoing mischief behind the flaps is when (for N) you lift the flap and find the dog up on two legs wearing the moustache and flying the kite; the cat up on two legs struggling to hold and play the guitar; the jester, sitting on the floor with the egg balanced on his head, reading the newspaper to the lamb; and the fish and apples leaping gracefully out of the fruit bowl through the air and into the fish bowl. By the end of the book, it is night out -- as you can see through the window -- and everyone (except the owl) is catching some Z's.

There is equal fun to be had with THE NUMBER GARDEN. It features rabbits, carrots, weeds, garden tools, lawn gnomes, seed packets, sunflowers, sunglasses, sun, stars, Chinese lanterns, and some serious mischief with the rabbits, the garden hose, and those gnomes.

For any adult (like me) who is old enough to remember sitting in kindergarten sniffing fresh alphabet and number dittoes, THE ALPHABET ROOM and THE NUMBER GARDEN are a great reminder that learning basic concepts can actually be subversive and fun.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
Moderator, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/
BudNotBuddy@aol.com
http://www.myspace.com/richiespicks ( )
richiespicks | May 21, 2009 |
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Two proud rabbits count the garden gnomes, Chinese lanterns, tasty carrots, one bright sun, and more as they review the results of all their hard work in the special garden they have created. On board pages.

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