Book Review: Hello Numbers! An Adventure Beyond Counting

By Edmund Harris & Houston Hughes; Illustrated by Brian Rea

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy September 13, 2022

Recommended Age 4 - 8 years

It has been awhile since I have been so pleasantly surprised by a picture book’s uniqueness, creativity and cleverness. I found a mixture of humor, entertainment and a lot of education packed in this title. Though only hitting on numbers 1-5 I would recommend this read for pre-k through elementary classrooms.

Hello Numbers! is a refreshing number book that isn’t simply doing one-to-one correspondence while counting cute chicks or monkeys on the bed. We learn that adding another number to a group can change the dynamics. You can create new shapes, angles, lines, pairs and piles. The illustrations take what could be complex concepts for young minds and transform them into simple tangible ideas.

Often, I judge a children’s book on the illustration-to-text ratio. If there is too much text per picture, I am unlikely to read it repeatedly to my child. With the ease of rhythm and rhyme, I slide through each page and word with enjoyment and am happy to read it again to see if my daughter will pick up anything else new. The illustrations are simple but effective in portraying the concepts presented.

I recommend this poetic mathematic book as we start the new school year and are on the look for fun ways to learn. While it is still warm you can take this book to the playground and see if you can make the different shapes and angles shown in the illustrations using your bodies and chalk! If you have a lot of kids you can play an alternation to the classic Four Corners game by changing it to three corners, a pentagon, or a line with two ends to mimic the shapes and lines made when you have different numbers. Be creative, have fun, learn lots and be sure to check this book out from your local library!

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.