Count on these books for teaching numbers to young children in a fun and interactive way.

“One Big Pair of Underwear” by Laura Gehl, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, 2014, Beach Lane Books, ages 4-7.

What happens when there are two bears and only one pair of underwear? The same thing that happens when there are six fat cats and only five nap mats, or when there are ten baboons and only nine trombones for the band. The concept of counting, and the lesson of sharing form the foundation for this hilariously clever book.

“Over in a River, Flowing Out to the Sea” by Marianne Berkes, Illustrated by Jill Dubin, 2013, Dawn Publications, ages 3-8.

Beautiful collage illustrations depict the various mother and baby animals amidst their habitat. While a rhythmic and rhyming text, set to the tune of the traditional song “Over in the Meadow” describes and counts the animal family. At the end of the book, readers will find a treasure of resources for learning about the animals and habitats, including a location map and tips from the author and illustrator. Dawn Publications seeks to inspire readers to care for the Earth and all living things.

“One Potato, Two Potato” by Todd H. Doodler, 2013, Little Simon, ages 3-6.

Mr. Potato plans a party, but when lots of friends show up, he gets something he hadn’t counted on. But his friends adapt, and a fun time was had by all. Bold colors and simple rhyming text will make this funny story about potatoes a smashing hit.

“Dog Loves Counting” by Louise Yates, 2013, Random House, ages 4-8 years.

Instead of counting sheep when he can’t sleep, Dog counts his favorite storybook characters. These animal friends take Dog on a sleeping adventure that stays with him even after he wakes up. Soft watercolor illustrations show the friendship between the animals and present many opportunities for counting.

“Count the Monkeys” by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Kevin Cornell, 2013, Hyperion Books.

One cobra, two mongooses, three crocodiles and a collection of other creatures count their way through the jungle. But where are the monkeys? Readers are encouraged to participate in scaring away the other animals in hopes the monkeys will return for a counting session. Humorous text and illustrations will make this counting book appealing for young children and their counting friends.

Review and image by Elizabeth Dobler