A Child's First 123 Counting: In this enchanting counting adventure, follow the dreams of a sleeping girl and meet favourite characters from fairy tales and folk stories as you journey from one to ten and back again.
A Child's First ABC Alphabet: B is for boy...but in Alison Jay's ABC, B also stands for basket, beehive, and butterfly! Simple in format, with a letter and word on every page and bright paintings of everyday items, ABC is perfect for toddlers. As with the acclaimed Picture This..., each turn of the page reveals numerous visual surprises.
This came as a set of two books. One on Counting the other one alphabet. My first glance at these books I was captured with the illustrations but was struggling to work out how I was going to review such simple books. However these books are not just very well presented with gentle illustrations there is more to every page.
The Alphabet book goes through each letter of the alphabet using a noun for each letter. However it does not stop there as on each page you can find other things that also start with that letter. This turned the book into a bit of a I spy type book which hooked my 4 year old in as well as my 1 year old. What I also found really neat was that there was a connection from one page to the next. e.g. on A page there was a picture of a balloon in the scene that was the B for balloon.
The counting book also has connections from one page to the next. This book is all set with fairy tales an each page has a scene that includes the fairy tale that is illustrated on the next page. You also got to count items on each page. I thought this page was very well done as it gave me a lot to talk about with my son and also sparked his interest in reading more fairy tales.
Overall both of these books are very well done. The author has written a blurb on the back which captures each book. How true these words are - Counting - .... a magical path to dreamland.... and Alphabet ....leads grown-ups and children alike on a very special journey... . Well done Alison Jay on a great take on a counting and alphabet book.
There are two books in this set - one for Counting and the other for the Alphabet. It is a beautiful set of books which were perfect for Miss 3.
The illustrations really make the books as there is only a small amount of text per page. The illustrations, along with the simple text, encourage a significant amount of discussion and interaction. Miss 3 is at the stage that these books are just right for her as they cover the basic ideas of the alphabet and counting to 10.
I found it great for 1:1 counting for Miss 3 . She is developing this skill and likes every opportunity to practice it. In addition to the items which are on itemised on each page (e.g. nine perfect roses), there are other groups of items which have the same number as the page indicates. It is worth spending a bit of extra time to ask the question about who can find another thing which as the given number on the page. Both Miss 3 and Mr 5 enjoyed this a lot.
Some images are over the split on the double page layout and it makes it a bit hard for young children to work out exactly where they are looking. An example of this is the "nine golden eggs". This was an unfortunate publishing/layout issue for a lovely set of books. I think it was easier for young children to count on a single page rather than across a two page spread. Some of the pages the book do have single pages for each number.
The first time we shared this book, we spent about twenty minutes as a family reading this very simple book. It involved a lot of conversation, counting and sharing. It is amazing how much educational value you can get out of a book with such a small amount of text!
The book offers two opportunities to visit each number as the book progresses from one to ten and then back down to one again. Counting forward and backward can be discussed with children who are ready for that too. Miss 3 isn't quite there yet but it is an option for her using this book once she is ready.
This book follows the same style as the Counting book and the illustrations are presented in the same way. Although some of the illustrations are split over a two page spread, it doesn't matter in the same way that the counting one did as the children are not trying to find items to count in this case.
The children and my husband read this book directly after the Counting book. Miss 3 was totally focused on counting items rather than working on the letters of the alphabet. It wasn't a problem as we have plenty of time to go through the book again. Each time we can get a different benefit out of it! Learning is learning after all.
Some of the illustrations are quite stylised and Miss 3 had a little difficulty working out what some of them were. My husband read the book to her and he would say "d is for..." and waited for her to reply with "dog" but she wasn't 100% sure that the image was actually a dog. Most of the images were fine and totally recognisable. Once she got used to it, she was ok but it took a little getting used to for her.
Overall this set of books are fun and educational. I was impressed with the level of interaction we got out of both of our children as we read the books. The illustrations obviously did the trick and kept them interested and involved.
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Let twelve of these children lead you on an incredible journey from a simple Saxon settlement by the Thames to a vibrant, Global city hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.
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