Counting legs has never been so much fun! This lovely book has been around for a while now, but as yesterday was National Numeracy Day, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit it! Money from the purchase of this copy will benefit Children in Need too- win, win!
As the animals arrive for tea, the reader is asked to add the number of legs that appear. It really is a counting book with a difference and is excellent to use both in the classroom and at home. There is plenty of challenge as the animals keep coming with varying numbers of legs. Although the solution is offered at the end, there is a jokey alternative in case you haven’t managed to keep up, meaning everyone can enjoy it!
The illustrations are pure joy with many familiar faces creeping in to join the fun. With lots of details to discuss and linger over, the pictures really lend themselves to developing the stories they tell either orally or in writing. They could also provide an excellent starting point for investigating some of the creatures introduced- and the number of legs they have!
Told in bouncy, cheery rhyme, the story also offers a wide range of mathematical expressions to explore as well as the benefits of the rhythm and sounds. For older children, there is great scope for playing with different word classes in the text and making up new sentences- change the verb, the preposition, the noun etc.
The number fun could continue with other animals joining the party- or some of those there leaving -or sharing some cakes. How much might it cost for...? What if they each brought a different number of balloons to the party? Children could draw the new visitors and create the text to go with their illustrations, perhaps creating a class book along the same lines. I would very happily create a whole day (or more!) of activities around this fabulous book, but we spent National Numeracy Day doing two maths SATs papers! Such is life!
How Many Legs? Kes Gray and Jim Field
Hachette ISBN: 978-1444910971