Growing math minds... Changing math mindsets
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Back to Children's Literature
Anno's Counting Book
by Mitsumasa Anno
Baby Goes to Market
In this beautiful, wordless counting book, the numbers zero through twelve are illustrated in many ways, each number on its own page.
Resources for Anno's Counting Book:
Full Book Review (English)
Full Book Review (Spanish)
Brief Book Review (English)
Brief Book Review (Spanish)
Can you find all the ways the number is shown on the page?
Math Connections:
Numbers 0  12 Counting
Activities to Do Together:

Encourage your child to talk about what they notice on each page.

See how many things you both can find that represent the number on the page: some are obvious and some are subtle.

Ask your child what they notice about the seasons shown in the book.

Encourage your child to notice the changes from page to page. As the number goes up by one, the number of objects on the page goes up by one.

Ask your child to count the buildings, people, or trees and then ask them how many there are. When your child can tell you how many there are without counting again, they have the skill known as cardinality. Cardinality is knowing that the last number named while counting, is the number of objects.

If your child can give one number to each object as they count, they have what is known as onetoone correspondence. Onetoone correspondence is giving one number name to each object without skipping or repeating objects.

Help your child understand the concept of zero by spending some time on the first pages. You might want to go back to the zero page after your child gets the idea of the book. There are zero buildings, zero trees, and zero people.

After you have enjoyed the book a few times, try reading the book backwards and notice what happens with the numbers and illustrations.
Extension Questions:

Ask your child what they notice on each page. Encourage them to count the number of buildings, then ask, “How many buildings are there?”

Ask your child what objects do NOT represent the number for that page. One example is the number of windows in the church. Ask them to count those objects and compare to the number on the page. Are there more or fewer windows than the number on the page?

Sometimes, the things you want to count are a little bit hard to find. For example the leafy trees are spread across the two pages. Encourage your child to check again if they don’t find all of them. What was easy to count? What was more difficult to count?

What are some things that stay the same throughout the book?