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How Many Legs by Kes Gray and Jim Field is a fun counting book which rather than teaching the more traditional one to ten, asks the child to add up the number of legs of all the creatures coming to a child’s birthday party.

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The book is pretty simple, and has loud, vibrant illustrations with lots of weird and wonderful creatures coming to the party to get maximum fun out of both the addition and the illustrations. Some of the creatures come in pairs, and their unlikely pairings add real humour to the book. The story is in rhyme, which regular visitors to this blog will know is something that generally drives me crazy. In this context however it is fine and worked very well for the type of book it is.

The animals, judging by their splendid attire and party hats are also keen to join in the fun and there are plenty of eccentric little details that will make the story work, even if you do lose track of how many you’re supposed to count.

What I really loved is the page at the end where it reassures you that you don’t have to get the number right to enjoy both the book and the party. It does however, give you the right number at the end of the book if you’re really determined to work things out.

For a counting book this is fresh, lively and has enough quirkiness not to seem too run of the mill. It would be excellent for use both in an Early Years Classroom and even Key Stage One classrooms as the additions do get quite busy toward the end of the book and really give you something to sink your teeth into.

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