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1 2 3 a Child's First Counting Book

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  199 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
An acclaimed picture book, now an enchanting board book. One little girl wakes up to a fairy-tale world. She spies two dancing feet from the Golden Goose tale, three hungry bears just meeting Goldilocks, and four royal mattresses between the princess and the pea. With many objects to count on each colorful page, 1 2 3 is perfect for children learning their numbers 1 though ...more
Board Book, 30 pages
Published September 17th 2009 by Dutton Books for Young Readers (first published May 1st 2007)
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Jan 31, 2015 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
[Update: In fact, my niece at 14 months seemed to enjoy the book. Her mother reads it aloud while she points at the objects on the pages and shouts "MOON!" or whatever.]

This is a nice book. I don't know how it works didactically (that is, I don't know when babies start learning numbers, but I suspect it is younger than when they would recognize all these fairy tales, but I'm not sure) but it was very pleasant in tone and I like the illustrations, which were in the style of old-fashioned painting
Aug 19, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I like the illustrations, I thin they would be really pretty to decorate a baby or child's room.
Rhiannon Hubble
1. Genre: Counting

2. This book is about a young girl who falls asleep reading fairy tales and sees all of her favorite fairy tale characters, while dreaming about counting.

3. A. Area for comment: Connections

B. This book is fabulous in that it connects many fairy tale characters to the concept of counting. Because these characters are familiar to the little girl in the story, she is more inclined to count because it is fun and exciting. She is more likely to view numbers and counting as an activ
Feb 22, 2016 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upon first view you see that there is a bordered cover with a sun on the front cover and a moon on the back cover. There is an incredible amount of detail in each illustration. Then, the front flap offers a preview into the book while the back flap gives information about the book and the author. The endpages are solid yellow and there is no copyright page. This counting book shows the adventure of a little girl as she goes off into a fairytale world all while teaching the reader how to count. E ...more
Jun 28, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidbooks, picture
Beautiful book! My daughter is going through a big fairy tale phase right now, and she loves paging through the book and pointing out which story belongs to the illustration. I love it for the story within the story - it could be used for what it is (a counting book), or to make up a story using the illustrations.
Much like Patrick Rothfuss's books from the Kingkiller Chronicles, the author does a great job of working fairy tales into the narrative through both subtle and obvious ways. Luckily, they wrapped this up quickly instead of pausing the countdown to share some side stories about other integers, unlike Rothfuss.

(I kid, I understand and agree with his logic for writing the side stories before Doors of Stone)
Mar 06, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sleeping girl dreams of classic story lines involving numbers: the three pigs, the seven beans for a magic beanstalk, four frog princes, etc. This book counts one to ten and then back again.

The illustrations in this book were vibrant yet muted by an overlay of the look of crackled paint. Those fine details seemed to lend age to the illustrations and helped the reader go back in time. Classic stories simplified to entice young readers: what a perfect compliment to a simple book.
Sarah Sammis
Apr 07, 2012 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1 2 3 A Child's First Counting Book by Alison Jay is an imaginative book that teaches children their numbers one to nine, counting up and down. It does this against a backdrop of a girls walk through a wonderland populated by sixteen different but familiar fairy tales.

When my daughter and I read the book we took three passes through the book. The first time we read the story and counted the numbers. Along the way Harriet began to notice some of the fairy tales.

On the second time through we tried
Jen Zuvella
The book 1 2 3 A Child’s First Counting Book made it easy to relate the words to the pictures. I liked how once we counted up to the number ten it started to count back down to one, which shows students that counting goes in both directions. I also liked how the book took pictures from sixteen different fairytales and made it into one counting book that any kid could understand. One downside of the book using sixteen different fairytales as the pictures is there isn’t one story that students cou ...more
Jenny D
This book counts characters from children’s fairy tales (e.g. 3 little pigs, 4 frog princes, etc.). It is best used for kindergarten students who are first learning to count to ten. One downside to the book is that it does not have a story; it relies on students’ prior knowledge of fairy tales. However, unlike many counting books, which simply count upwards, this book counts up to 10 and then back down, showing students that counting can go in both directions. To use the book in class, it would ...more
Jul 10, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think I would like this book very much when my six-year-old picked it out from the library. I was wrong. Instead of being a basic counting book, it was a counting book that introduced and used fairy tales -- I loved that. And I super-loved the dreamlike illustrations.
Nov 05, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
This board book follows a girl through her dreams while counting up from one to ten and then back down to one. Each page focuses on a different fairy tale. The illustrations are fantastic!

Great for toddler storytimes.
Dec 31, 2011 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
My picture book project is at an end today and this is a good book to end with. I picked it up for my granddaughter who is 1 1/2 and she loves it. She keeps asking to read the sun book because there is a big sun on the cover. It is a lovely counting book that will grow with her as she begins to learn her fairy tales. It starts with one little girl going to sleep and progresses to ten and then back to one little girl waking up. The pages in between all have fairy tale characters - three pigs, six ...more
This is a counting book based on fairy tales. There must be 20 different traditional stories represented as this girl dreams her way from one to twenty and back. My daughter (4) and I loved this book. At first when I read it she just watched while I counted the different things on the page. Then once we realized the different fun layers to this book we read it again and again to find the cute little clues the illustrations give you about what's coming next. Also, and I'm not going to give this b ...more
Meow Meow Mia
Jan 16, 2015 Meow Meow Mia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You really need to look carefully. Don't miss any details! Very interesting and inventive!
Oct 06, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-mica
I love the illustrations! I want to study them and make all sorts of connections with Mica when she's older.
Jan 12, 2008 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who loves fairytales, folktlales and traditional nursery rhymes.
My choice for Caldecott for 2008. What first seems like a simple counting books becomes much more interesting as the reader realizes that a magical goose is taking a sleeping young girl to places from nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Within each page the reader can look for characters or images from the tales and rhymes. Kids will have a great time finding all the many numbered things on each spread. They will also enjoy looking for the picture hints of the next destination. The crackled subdued ...more
I first picked out this book for my son because he is working on remembering numbers and how to count, but also because I love Alison Jay’s crackled illustrations. This book features a young girl who falls asleep and dreams she is in the world of fairy tales, and starts counting things like “three little pigs” and “seven magic beans”. The pictures are interesting enough to entertain the kids and the parents reading it to them. The back of the book features a page that lists all the fairy tales f ...more
Kasey Hughes
Oct 08, 2012 Kasey Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is extremely unique when it comes to counting books. They use stories from many old fairy tales, such as Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs and Beauty and the Beast. The only problem is the child would have to read the words one, two, three instead of seeing 1, 2, and 3. I wish instead of words the authors would have used the actual numbers because it would make it easier for the child to realize the connection. The illistrations are outstanding though, and easy for the child to easily ...more
One of the best counting picture books. Has a bunch of fairytales.
Feb 23, 2010 Sarai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story counts its way through familiar fairy tales - a golden goose with two soaring wings, three little pigs, etc. It counts up to 10 and then back down again.

I picked this one up, again, because of the nice big sunshine cover art. I enjoyed the pictures inside quite a bit, and a page at the back shows the tales each drawing refers to.

Recommended for ages 4-8. I would think it could be introduced sooner.
The Library Lady
Describing this as a child's first counting book is a mistake--this is not something that would interest very small children. And I don't like the art technique with the cracking.It's not attractive, just distracting and makes this even less young child friendly.
That said, older children (preschool and early elementary) will enjoy identifying fairy tale characters and objects in the sets of objects to count on each page.
Sep 19, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Another required book on my kids reading list. While they have known how to count for a while, this book presents counting in a most imaginative way. First of all, Alison Jay is an amazing illustrator -- her work is simply inspiring. For each number, a different fairy tale was drawn to accompany it. So even if your kids know how to count, like mine, you can riddle them on the fairy tales...
Jennifer  Davis
Aug 31, 2012 Jennifer Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My 5 year old son recently brought this book home from his school library. We have sat a read the book several times in a single sitting. The book is counting from 1 to 10 and 10 to 1. It has beautiful illustrations that come from some of his favorite fairy tales. He enjoyed the pictures and counting the objects.

Originally posted on The Mystical World of Book Reviews
Nicole Holden
Apr 14, 2012 Nicole Holden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: math
This is a cute and simple book to introduce counting to pre-k students. I love the way the number and the spelling of the number is illustrated on each page. I would have the students count each object that is displayed on the page. This book has cute children's fairy tales characters like the 3 little pigs, etc.

Nov 05, 2010 Dianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This counting book goes from one to ten and then back to one again. It uses fairy tales, so if you're a fan, you'll like this book. There's a key at the back so you can guess the fairy tale on each page. I love Alison Jay's illustrations.
Jan 07, 2012 Davida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-emilia
Beautifully illustrated with old-looking, crackly paint pictures and very cool connections from number to number with a variety of fairy tales. Makes it fun for the reader and the person being read to, as there is lots to look at and look for!
Amy Brown
Dec 02, 2007 Amy Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fairytales, counting
Shelves: k-3rdgrade
This book is beautiful. Each page refers to another fairytale and there are multiple things to count on each page as well. It's just a beautiful counting book with lots of things for parents and children to talk about as the look through it.
Feb 26, 2009 K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
A neat little counting book. I did really appreciate the different layers - the plot of the book, the objects to count, as well as the references to all the fairy tales. It's definitely a counting book suited for numerous readings.
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Alison Jay was born in Hertfordshire, grew up in Derbyshire and studied graphic design in London where she now lives. After graduating she worked in animation for a short while but gradually started to get commissions in illustration. She works in Alkyd a quick drying oil paint on paper and sometimes adds a crackle varnish to give the work an aged appearance. She has worked in all areas of illustr ...more
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