How Many Peas in a Pod? by Margaret Allum and Judy Watson

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball

Counting is an integral part of our lives. And most young children learn about counting and numbers quite naturally before starting school. Counting books which encourage children to work out and augment numbers not only increases children’s capabilities in maths, but also help with numeric confidence, and are lots of fun. How Many Peas in a Pod is a cute counting book which features lovely ink and watercolour illustrations full of humorous detail, and nice big flaps for children to lift. The book asks children to count familiar and alliterative scenes like cows in a cornfield, socks in a suitcase, or bugs in a box, lifting the flap to find the answer. The numbers move from one to twelve, and finish with a kind of funny “too many to count,” that will get children laughing every time.

The repetition of sounds will also help with reading and general linguistic skills, and there lots of funny things for young children to point out. The ladybugs ballet looks rather less graceful than one might expect, the dancing jellybeans have big smiles on their face, the pumpkins have silly faces, and the lazy lizards are true loungers. If your children are anything like mine, they may well try to count the flowers in the field. The soft but rich pastel shades used by illustrator Judy Watson also allow for colour games (“what colour is the duckie?”), and will spark young children’s imagination.

This hardcover book is nicely presented enough to make a good gift. The fold over flaps are large enough so they won’t get broken off the way pasted-on ones will, and will encourage young children to participate in the story telling process. There are many counting, lift-the-flap book son the market, but this one is particularly funny, and with its linguistic alliteration, its big flaps, and its surprise ending.

How Many Peas in a Pod? by Margaret Allum and Judy Watson Little Hare
Hardcover, 16 pages
ISBN: 1877003794, Price (Aust RRP): $14.95
May 2005

This review first appeared at Preschool Entertainment. It appears here with permission.