It took me all of thirty minutes to settle in from being gone all day, read my newest math book, How Many? by Christopher Danielson and then open my laptop to write this blogpost. I love to look for math in my world and this book is an invitation to do just that. It encourages the reader to go beyond the obvious numbers you see at a glance and take time to observe with a new lens; multiple lens.
I love how the introduction encourages the readers to make choices with what they want to count and how they want to count. He also encourages readers to linger and says the more time you spend with a photograph/page the more you will see. I just felt the need to slow right down there and enjoy this book. The book begins with three pages and text guiding the reader for things they may see in a box with a pair of shoes. Have you ever thought to count the eyelet holes for laces or the stitching lines? The possibilities are more than two shoes. After reading the introduction I instantly eager to see beyond the obvious on each page. For example the egg carton has one egg but I started counting the empty egg spots first.
Counting is often thought of as a primary emerging mathematician skill. This book reminded me counting expands across topics within mathematics. Beyond counting objects, I found myself working with multiplication and fractions. The images in this text are perfect examples for placing mathematics in every day context. The end of the book lists some questions to encourage the reader to revisit the previous pages with a new focus or two. The questions felt like an invitation to linger and then my mind started racing for images I might want to take around my house and share with the question, How Many? I think this will make a great math workshop warm up activity. This will also be a book I recommend to families. It's easy for families to see how to have literacy conversations and to place literacy invitations in their homes. We need more guidance for math invitations.