Author: Andy Mansfield
Illustrator: Thomas Flintham
Age Group: 0-3
Synopsis: There’s always a bigger fish, until you count to 10. After that you’re ok.
The Low Down:
We’ve already taught Bug how to count to ten. Kind of. Sometimes. Every once in awhile he’ll skip 5-7. Counting is hard. Even if he got it right every time I think we’d still enjoy One Lonely Fish but I wish that we would have found it a few months earlier. I’m sure it would have been instrumental in securing spots for five, six, and seven.
I don’t believe there’s a secret to teaching children to count. I believe in fun repetativness. If something is fun, interactive, and consistently modelled then I believe, unless there are other underlying factors, children will learn what you are demonstrating. One Lonely Fish is very engaging. The fish are brightly colored and quite striking against the page. There is a cut out for each fish on each new page. In the end the reader is left with a very typical little fish is eaten by bigger fish, who’s eaten by a bigger fish, multiplied by ten. Each fish is only drawn once throughout the story so by the end the pages are quite short and the reader is left with a line of patterened fish all unaware that a final very large jawed fish has them all covered (not in a good way).
As it was we made do with counting steps. This sounds unbelievably dull. Let me explain. We walk a lot. Pulling the buggy out every time we have to leave the house is a pain and so I usually walk with/carry Bug. He likes to be carried, “I tall Mama!” You may be tall sweet boy but my back is going to snap in two. So we count steps to see how long it takes until I carry him again or until he walks again. I may or may not count faster or slower depending on the situation but at this point I encourage him to count the steps himself. Will we be counting bear steps? Ant steps? Dance steps? Jumping steps? We never know but my guess is that fishy steps lie in the near future.
- You can start this book as early as you like. There’s no need to wait for children to be close to counting before you introduce it. They are like sponges and the bright colors and quick easy pages make it very accessible for young ones.
I need more!
Thomas Flintham has done a great number of books and has an absolutely fabulous London coloring book available. With a great sense of humor and quirky titles, his other collaborations like: Baby Aliens Got My Teacher beg to be read.
Add to my library:
UK Amazon:One Lonely Fish
US Amazon: One Lonely Fish