A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Goodnight, Numbers is by actress Danica McKellar, who got her start as a kid on The Wonder Years, went on to earn a math degree, and now writes math books for kids. This book's a mash-up of a counting book and a bedtime book modeled after the classic Goodnight Moon. Though the rhythm of the rhyming text can be a bit choppy, each page from 1 to 10 gives kids multiple opportunities to count objects pictured on the page. The art’s sweet and warm, featuring babies, toddlers, and families that are varied racially and balanced between boys and girls.
What's the story?
In GOODNIGHT, NUMBERS, toddlers in a variety of families are pictured moving through their nighttime routines: eating dinner, washing hands, playing, bath time, getting into pajamas, brushing teeth, reading, and going to bed. Each spread has rhyming text that focuses on a number, moving from 1 to 10, urging readers to count that number of objects as shown on the page.
Is it any good?
Warm fuzzy families of various races with fully engaged dads help distinguish this bedtime counting book targeted to toddler- and preschool-age kids, as pictured in the art. Goodnight, Numbers provides scads of opportunities for kids to count objects, as the pages move from 1 to 10. Some of the counting opportunities are called out in the rhyming text, with others scattered throughout the art so readers get to hunt for them.
Though there are lots of counting books, this one's a bedtime book, with the kids moving through nightly rituals and saying goodnight to the counted objects, a la Goodnight Moon. That classic book is a hard act to follow, and these rhymes do not flow as trippingly off the tongue. The publisher's recommended age starts at 2, but parents might keep in mind that the concept of numbers is developmental, and very young kids might have trouble getting the one-to-one correspondence of number-to-object just right. They'd do well to take the advice that author Danica McKellar offers at the end and supplement the book by having kids count concrete objects in the real world. But Alicia Padrón's art is so sweetly appealing that kids will enjoy practicing on the objects in the art as they begin to learn to count.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the numbers from 1 to 10 in Goodnight, Numbers. Can you count the objects on the page even as the numbers get bigger?
Can you find things in your home to count like the kids in the book do?
How do the kids in the story get ready for bed? What do you do at bedtime?
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