cover image How Many, How Many, How Many

How Many, How Many, How Many

Rick Walton. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-062-8

A combination of riddles, nursery rhymes, and Trivial Pursuit gives this nifty counting book its special twist. The challenge to readers is presented early on as ``How many HOW MANYstet s can you guess?'' Each successive spread presents a rhyming clue-and-question couplet, and an informative answer all accompanied by spirited and unusual scratchboard illustration. For example, ``Spiders like to steal her seat. / How many things does Muffet eat? . . . Two / Curds and whey.'' The difficulty of the questions increases as the book progresses so that youngsters learn the number of legs an ant has, the number and name of the positions on a soccer team and the months of the year. The volume's final page offers additional sport, asking readers to locate items in the artwork that they may have missed the first time through. Though a few of the concepts may be a bit tough for preschoolers, this volume spans a variety of skill levels from number identification to beginning science lessons. The smiling kids who star in Jabar's exuberant artwork are bound to welcome budding mathematicians to these pages over and over again. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)