Tuesday, August 12, 2008

365 Penguins and Spinderella

One of the things I missed while away at Tech Camp for the week was doing bedtime stories. Though maybe the campers would have enjoyed a browse through some of Littl’un’s weirder books!

Last night’s reading around the kitchen table had a mathematics theme.

365 Penguins

365 Penguins is a large-format book that tells the story of a household which receives a delivery of a penguin in a box one day. And the next. And the next. The problem of feeding, cleaning, amusing, never mind organising all these penguins takes over the household’s energies. There’s lots of numbers and counting built into the story, and it’s a joy to read. It’s also quite surreal ... translated from the French story by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joelle Jolivet. Recommended.

I love the dog’s review on Amazon.co.uk which finishes with the line:

“Its modernist stance on penguin management should appeal to teachers and parents alike!”
Spinderella by Julia Donaldson

The other piece of numerical literature comes from children’s favourite Julia Donaldson. More wordy and with less rhymes that her better known works. Spinderella tells the story of a spider who overcomes her brothers’ and sisters’ distain for numbers by learning to count with the help of her Hairy Godmother.

A tale that values numeracy and shows its usefulness ... particularly for getting balanced teams and counting goals when the spider family play football.

So often maths is made into a chore and a bore. And as a fan of numbers and such like, it’s good so find positive ways of increasing Littl’uns’ word count.

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