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Maths Together

Walker Books' excellent Maths Together series introduces children to numbers and mathematics through stories, puzzles and rhymes - an approach which fits perfectly with the Numeracy Strategy. All the books are beautifully presented and include useful tips for parents on helping children to understand the mathematical ideas they contain. Unfortunately none of the titles are currently available as big books but Walker have this under consideration. 

The books are divided into two sets
          The Yellow Set (suitable for ages 2+)
          The Green Set (for ages 5+)

The Yellow Set (for ages 2+)
(with thanks to Vikki and Jack)
How many? by Rick Walton and Cynthia Jabar
A counting book which uses numbers we meet in everyday life -e.g. 4 seasons, 7 colours of the rainbow and 11 players in a football team. The illustrations are bright, interesting and fun and the whole book was a great hit with my 3 year old tester.
Number range 1-12
Age 3+  
Buy from Amazon   paperback    
complete set

If I were bigger than anyone and other poems
illustrated by Clara Vulliam
A selection of poems about height, length, weight, volume and time which help children become familiar with measuring words. Many of the poems apply to real life so you can recite them when you are out and about.
Age 3+
Buy from Amazon    paperback    hardback    complete set

Baby Bird by Joyce Dunbar and Russell Ayto
Very funny illustrations combine with a simple text to tell the story of a baby bird learning to fly. The words have a catchy rhythm which is fun to read and the story also gives good practice with 'up', 'over' 'inside' and other positional words.
Ages 2+ 
Buy from Amazon    paperback     complete set

Washing Line by Jez Alborough
Each piece of clothing on the washing line belongs to a different animal and children have to guess who wears a particular item. This provides plenty of opportunity to talk about size and shape and to use words like 'possibly' and 'perhaps' before turning the flap to see if they are right. Simple enough for very young children but fun for slightly older ones too.
Ages 2+ 
Buy from Amazon    paperback    hardback    complete set

My Mum and Dad make me Laugh by Nick Sharratt
An enjoyable story about a boy with a mum who's mad on spots and a dad who's mad on stripes. The bright, bold pictures bring out the humour in the story and provide plenty to talk about. This was my tester's favourite. He thought it was very funny and loved spotting the different patterns and counting the animals.
Ages 2+ and older children with special needs
Buy from Amazon    paperback    complete set

Two Little Elves and other action rhymes 
illustrated by Carol Thompson
This well-chosen collection of rhymes involves number, size, shape or the passage of time. The illustrations are paler and less eye catching than some of the other books in this set but are still enjoyable and cleverly illustrate the actions without any need for instructions.
Ages 2
Buy from Amazon    paperback     complete set

The Green Set (for ages 5+)
(with thanks to Jan and Veronica)
Click for Writing for Children
The Six Blind Men and the Elephant by Clare Boucher 
This Indian story with a moral tells how six blind men each feel a different part of an elephant and come to different conclusions on its appearance. All of  them are partly right but they need to put all their experiences together to understand what an elephant looks like.  The book includes useful suggestions on using the story to develop children's own questioning techniques. 
    The illustrations are clear with not too much text on each page but the unusual typeface used to give an oriental feel makes it slightly more difficult to read than usual. Despite this, able 5 year olds and other older children should be able to read this alone although the best way to use the book initially is to read it together. 
    A useful book for class use as it deals with an unusual topic. Also,  as this is a multi-cultural tale about adults, it is very suitable for older children with special needs
Buy from Amazon        paperback       hardback     complete set

Click for Writing for ChildrenAbu Ali counts his Donkeys by Dorothy O Van Woekhom
After Abu Ali buys nine donkeys at the fair, he tries to check he has them all but runs into trouble because he forgets to count the donkey he is riding. A delightfully simple story about conservation of number - children will enjoy the humour and the satisfaction of knowing what Ali is doing wrong. Good readers could read it alone but would gain more from discussion with an adult. 
   A good book for class use and not at all babyish, so very useful for older children with special needs.
Buy from Amazon      paperback       hardback      complete set

Click for Writing for ChildrenWhat's in a Number? 
This lovely collection of number poems was picked out as  favourite by  the teacher who reviewed this set of books for me. There's a wide variety of poems dealing with small and large numbers plus one which encourages children to think about a numberless world. Excellent for parents and teachers as it offers a wealth of possibilities for discussion and could be used individually or in class/group work. 
   The text is too difficult for 5 year olds to read alone but the book could be enjoyed by children quite a bit older than this including those with special needs provided they have adult support.
 Buy from Amazon     paperback       hardback       complete set

Click for Writing for ChildrenSix Feet Long and Three Feet Wide by Jeannie Billington
A delightfully funny story which illustrates the need for standard measures in a way children will enjoy and remember. As well as the mathematical message, the clear, easy to read text uses all types of punctuation so the book could be useful for the Literacy Hour.  
     More able readers could tackle this alone but might need help with the thinking behind it. The book is also suitable for use with older children with special needs. 
Buy from Amazon     paperback       hardback        complete set

Click for Writing for ChildrenNo Problem by Eileen Browne
Mouse's attempts at constructing his present produce some very strange results until he finally reads the instructions. This is definitely a book for reading aloud as the text is too hard for children of this age to read alone. However the delightfully detailed illustrations are best for close study so are not as suitable as some of the rest of the series for group and class work. The overall appearance is mature enough to make this suitable for older children with special needs. 
 Buy from Amazon    paperback        hardback       complete set

Click for Writing for ChildrenMouse Moves House by Nick Sharratt
This shape activity book is bright and colourful and, after an initial look with an adult, children could also share it with friends. It's a good book for parents and children to enjoy together. For teachers, its main value would be as a book to send home.  The illustrations will appeal to this age group but are too young for older children with special needs. 
 Buy from Amazon   paperback       hardback        complete set

 

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