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Author: Philip Hawthorn

Illustrator: Stephen Cartwright

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Publisher: Usborne Publishing Limited,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Wiggy Pig is having a birthday party. One by One, each of his 20 guests arrive. With a clue from Pickle Parrot, Wiggy Piggy discovers a day full of surprises! This is a counting book filled with count-able objects and a fun story.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Age of Child: Read with 3-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: He loved the fun, interesting characters, from a butterfly to a lion and a kangaroo to a dragon. On each page, the number was at the top and objects on the page to count matched. He wanted to read it again and he selected it as his new favorite bedtime book.

Adult Reader Reaction: Finally! A counting book that's fun AND goes higher than 10. There are fun rhymes, lots of objects to count, an interesting story and illustrations, and a positive association of 20 different animals, as well as some cause and effect. Even though it is a long book for a 3-year-old, the story captured and held my son's attention until the end!

Pros: This counting book is perfect for when you're ready to move beyond board books into fun, exploratory reading. There are fun illustrations, good counting skills, and positive messages (dinosaur shares his walkman with hippo). Plus, everyone brings something unique to the party.

Cons: None, really. The book could probably use sturdier pages, as they will be turned a lot.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. The story is fun (kids love birthdays and surprises) and it is packed with learning. This is an excellent counting book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ALPHABET BOOK (Usborne Farmyard Tales)   THE FARMYARD JAMBOREE   THE MISSING CHICK

Educational Themes: Whether you read the poem or not, there is plenty to share with this book: counting, search and find, animal identification, being friends, sharing, etc. Cartwright is famous for his hidden ducks, and you'll find one on every page. The items in each picture match the number on the page, offering lots of opportunities to reinforce counting, as well as recognize patterns. Discerning objects is a great way to train the brain to get ready for letters.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, math, counting, puzzles

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2008

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