Sunday, February 26, 2012

One Foot, Two Feet: An Exceptional Counting Book

Maloney, Peter. 2011. ONE FOOT, TWO FEET: AN EXCEPTIONAL COUNTING BOOK. Ill. by Felicia Kekauskas. NY: Putnam. ISBN 9780399254468 [Suggested Grade Levels K and up]

The exception mentioned in the title is really one of words, not numbers. As you turn the pages of this simple counting book you encounter illustrations and words that are those which break the normal rules of plurals. A page with the text “One foot” displays a single foot visible through a cut out shape in the page. When turned you see the text “Two feet” and the other half of the illustration showing the pajama clad footed pair, one festooned with a bandage designed with the numeric form of 2.

The book continues with an assortment of consecutively numbered and exceptionally pluraled items, including among others, octopi and oxen. The peek-a-boo format allows for predictive interaction as the reader learns some of the exceptions of the English language.

Light-hearted, child friendly illustrations adorn the pages with fun little details throughout, like the numeric representation on each pages tucked into the illustration, the progress of a small plane across the top, and the running tally that appears running along the bottom of the page. Small details like these will offer readers new discoveries as they read and revisit the book.

The English language can be difficult, for native speakers as well as English language learners, especially when it comes to exceptions to the rule. Start a word chart listing the exceptional examples provided here, and add to it as new words are encountered.

A few other letters and words at play:
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. THE HIDDEN ALPHABET
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. LEMONS ARE NOT RED.

By Marianne Follis

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