February 6, 2013

Let’s Count Goats

Illustrated by Jan Thomas

Don’t you just love the way even tiny children can focus so happily on a book? A proud parent sent this to me.

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‘Here we see a mountain goat
frisking in the sun.

And here we see a city goat
going for a run.

But can we count the seaside goats?
(I think there’s only one.)

Here we see a drinking goat
and here a goat is eating.

But can we count the baby goats
lost, and loudly bleating?…’

This book began as a sequel to Where is the Green Sheep? but one thing I have learnt is that an original book is always better than sequel, if it’s a picture book. So Let’s Counts Goats stands alone. Green Sheep was about many concepts: colour, space, contrasts, etc., but I wanted to write a book about numbers as I have always been bad at counting anything. What I love about this book is that the number is never written: the adult and child together have to count the number of goats on each page. And then there’s the surprise need, on the second last page, to multiply five sets of eyes, to make the ten at the end. Aha! Happy maths. What a concept!

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Allyn and me editing Let’s Count Goats in my dining room

Allyn and me editing Let’s Count Goats in my dining room