HOW MANY BLUE BIRDS FLEW AWAY?

A Counting Book With a Difference

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-000762-1
Publisher: Greenwillow

The difference in this counting book is the difference—it’s all about subtraction. Future mathematicians will get great practice in not only counting and subtracting, but also in grouping and determining which items have similar attributes. As the narrator goes through his day, he asks questions about the things he sees, much like the little boy from Jon Scieszka’s Math Curse. When he removes an apple from the fruit bowl, he wonders: How many apples are there? How many oranges? How many more apples than oranges? At the bus stop, he ponders the numbers of hats versus gloves and the numbers of black and blue birds. The day’s subtracting finally ends as the narrator gazes up at the moon and stars. The wording on each page differs only in the objects observed, allowing youngsters to keep the focus on counting and finding the differences. Crews makes the attributes to be counted clear in his illustrations, but at the same time demonstrates the wide variety that can be found within categories: colors, shapes and sizes. An excellent addition to every primary teacher’s bookshelf or home library. (Picture book. 4-9)