Of all the books that we pick up at the library, or buy because I just couldn’t bear to leave them behind in a bookshop I suspect that some of my favourites have been the ones that the girls choose; books pulled at random purely because something in the pictures or the texture or the shape appeals to them. Kitty can recognise a few words at the moment and can quite often tie letters and pictures together so she’s half an idea what the story might be about, but Elma is still judging books predominantly by their covers.
And I think she’s turning out to be quite a good judge, because this week’s choice is one of her library books. It is also testament to the fact that you should never feel confined to the baby, toddler and preschooler section of the library because she found this one on the bottom shelf of the older reader non-fiction bookcase, which has rather made me wonder whether someone was having a half asleep moment, saw the title and thought it ought to be with science.
I don’t doubt that The Numberlys would also appeal if you were a little older than Kitty and Elma but there’s nothing in it that they don’t like or can’t grasp, and an awful lot to like.
Imagine a world where everything is just numbers, no letters at all. And because there are no letters and no words, there are no colours, no descriptions to bring the world to life, and so it’s grey, grey, more grey … and gloop.
But then five friends decide that there really ought to be more to life than this, so they try out different numbers and more numbers and scratch their heads when that all turns into a giant mess. But then, out of all of this thinking and creating, they make letters.
Slightly wonky at first perhaps, and they run through a few different methods to find the whole alphabet but finally they’ve got all 26 letters ready to be unveiled to the rest of the Numberly world.
But what magic is this? The letters start to make words, and the words start to tell the story of the world around them, and suddenly it’s not grey anymore; there’s pizza, and ice cream too!
As an introduction to the alphabet it’s certainly original, and beautifully illustrated but I also love the little underneath message that if you think something needs to be changed in your world and you think creatively and work at it you might just find you make something truly special, and that’s got to be a good way to approach life.
I only discovered after we’d read it half a dozen times that it’s actually based on an app; there’s a main Numberly app and a littler one that goes with the book. I haven’t tried either of them myself, the girls are having so much fun with the book itself it doesn’t need another layer, but they seem to have good reviews. I think it’s a clever idea to tie a book in with an app though; taking the story off the screen and into their hands.
What We’re Reading is a weekly link up of posts about children’s books. That’s about as far as the ‘rules’ go; it can be picture books, baby books, books for older children or even young adult if you like; just come and join us to tell us what you’ve been reading recently. The linky is always open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in, or if you’d rather join in on Instagram or Twitter that would be wonderful too, just use the hashtag #whatweread and tag me (@cariemay on Instagram and @cariemaymakes on Twitter) and then we can all come and say hi.
Lat week Vickie and Bubs have been reading not one, two or even three books, but four gorgeous little Winnie the Pooh stories complete with the original style illustrations (my favourite – sorry Disney Winnie!) and Jenny and her gorgeous duo have been in glittery princess book heaven with Glitterbelle, a book which will have to go on my wish list because of (a) the princesses and glitter which will make it a sure fire winner with my girls and (b) one of the fairies wears glasses which make it a hit with me!