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Picture Book Combines Fun-Filled Chickens with Counting Skills for Young Readers

Updated on March 19, 2017
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Picture Book Engages Children in Counting Skills as They Read

Jo Ellen Bogart's fun-filled "Count Your Chickens" is a colorful read aloud picture book for young children that will engage them in a variety of counting skills to prepare them for later math skills. Chickens are everywhere throughout the book as they prepare for going to the county fair and finally arriving to have fun at the fair. Bogart writes in rhymes to tell of the adventures that the chickens have after arriving at the fair. Each page is filled with chickens hiding in creative places, and children are challenged to search the page to find and count the chicks. Young readers never know where the chicks will be found next as they turn the pages. Chickens of all sizes are also found throughout the book, and readers will enjoy using another math skill in classifying and sorting as they find the chicks. Each page is also filled with details that will engage children in a conversation about what the chicks are up to at the fair. Clowns, musicians, and rides at the fair will have young readers eager to turn the pages to discover the next adventure. Bogart concludes her book with two pages of smaller illustrations in block form that features a question of "How Many?" Children will engage in looking closely at the illustration to count chickens and provide the answer to the question. There is an answer key to accompany the pages.

"Count Your Chickens" was published by Tundra Books/Random House Canada. it is recommended for children ages 3-6. It has an ISBN of 978-1-77049-792-4/1-77049-792-7.


"Count Your Chickens" by Jo Ellen Bogart

Colorful counting book engages young children in math skills while reading.
Colorful counting book engages young children in math skills while reading. | Source
Large and colorful illustrations by Lori Joy Smith and text written in rhymes by Bogart
Large and colorful illustrations by Lori Joy Smith and text written in rhymes by Bogart

Meet the Author and Illustrator

Jo Ellen Bogart is a teacher with degrees in elementary education and psychology from the University of Texas. She now writes full time. She enjoys picture books. Bogart is the recipient of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and is on the shortlist for receiving the Mr. Christie's Book Award. She is a pet parent and now lives in Ontario, Canada.

Lori Joy Smith contributed her talents as an illustrator to Bogart's "Count Your Chickens". Her work has been seen across Canada and the United States. Smith's illustrations have also been featured on greeting cards and in the popular magazines "American Girl" and "Today's Parent".

Detailed Illustrations Are a Special Feature of Smith's Illustrations

Colorful and detailed illustrations
Colorful and detailed illustrations | Source

Reading Counting Books Engages Young Children in Early Math Skills

Young children will eagerly engage in early math skills while reading colorful and easy to read counting books such as "Count Your Chickens". Early math skills include a variety of activities such as number recognition, counting, one-to-one correspondence, and classifying with sorting. All of these skills set the foundation for later math skills. Visual discrimination is also a part of early math skills. Each page of "Count Your Chickens' can be used to practice any of these early math skills with your young child. Allow your child to touch each chicken as they count. This helps in practicing one-to-one correspondence. Choose a page that features both adult chickens and their chicks to practice the skill of visual discrimination of sizes and classifying according to size. The colorful clothes worn by the chicks also present an opportunity for children to practice the skills of sorting and classification. As your child counts, ask the question of what comes next to practice sequencing. The final two pages of the book with the section "How Many?" offers the opportunity to use the skill of visual discrimination to answer the question that each illustration features. There is an answer key to accompany the questions.

Your child might also enjoy practicing visual discrimination by observing the other small animals that are featured at the fair along with the chickens. This activity offers the opportunity to sort and classify. Can you find the mice on one of the pages?

How Many?

Children will enjoy counting and answering the question that each illustration features.
Children will enjoy counting and answering the question that each illustration features. | Source

Engaging Your Child in Early Math Skills at Home

How do you help your child practice early math skills at home?

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