By Danica McKellar
Illustrated by Alicia Padron
I am pleased to introduce you to my new favorite book, Goodnight Numbers by Danica McKellar!
Did you ever stop to think how important numbers are in our daily lives? Give yourself 30 seconds and write down all the ways numbers come into your life: Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, License plate, height, weight, measuring cups and spoons, phone numbers, credit card numbers, street addresses, money, GPA, tv channels, time, date…you’ve got the idea!
Goodnight Numbers offers youngsters an interesting and engaging introduction to numbers and counting. The endpapers of the book are worth some study and are sure to spark conversations since they offer numbers 1-10 in English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and also include Roman Numerals, tally marks, number squares, and ten frames to demonstrate the many ways numbers can be represented by words and symbols.
Each number 1-10 is given its own 2-page spread. The featured number is represented as a numeral and as a word (e.g., 5 and “FIVE”). A short poem about each number serves as an introduction. Throughout the illustrations, the number is represented by or on objects in the room (e.g., 4 yellow rubber ducks, 4 towels, 4 turtle bath toys), giving multiple opportunities to learn about and explore numbers 1 – 10 with everyday objects familiar to young children.
The illustrations are clever and contain numerous items representing the number being featured. An adult could easily use the illustrations to play an “I spy” game with a child. “Can you find 5 flowers? 4 froggies?”
On the final pages, the author made a bulleted list of ways the get the most out of the book. She reminds the adult reader that numbers are all around us, and she urges parents to point out common uses of numbers to their children to make them more aware of the many ways we encounter numbers each day. Do some quick brainstorming. What numbers might you point out to children as you go through the day? Examples include supermarket aisle numbers, page numbers in a book, street numbers, their house number, the microwave timer, the clock.
Goodnight Numbers would be a great addition to any home or school library.
Reviewed by: Joyce Johanson