Counting with a difference ‘At Our House’

The first thing you’ll notice about this striking little book is the bold use of colour and the strong geometric design. The second thing you’ll notice is that this is no ordinary counting book.

At Our House by Portuguese authors Isabel Minhós Martins and Madalena Matoso can best be described as a whimsical counting book. Why count ordinary things when there’s a world full of the unusual in your own house?!

In the book, we meet a family of five plus their dog –

“At our house we have 6 heads, each one thinking its own unique thoughts… From time to time, though, they all think the same!”

After counting the ‘six heads’, At Our House veers into the unconventional –

“At our house we have 6 bladders. Our intestines are about 60 times the length of an average body… Every morning we line up for the same bathroom.”

As well as counting bladders and intestines, there’s also hairs, freckles, bones, friends, claws and cousins to count!

For children who are beyond simply counting to ten, this book will delight. As well as big numbers relating to things they understand, there’s also a few little mathematical tricks thrown in that will have them thinking. For example –

“At our house we have 5 pairs of legs, 4 paws and 10 feet. That means… 10 shoes to take off at the end of the day… 10 socks to throw into a corner… and, sometimes, only 2 hands to pick up all the mess.”

Special mention must be made of the truly striking illustrations, vibrant use of colour and the eye-catching square font. The pictures appear simple at first glance but there is actually a lot of counting to be done and small details to be found.

At Our House is available from Book Depository. Book Depository ship to Australia for free.

For another challenging counting book, see our previous review of How Many Jelly Beans?

 

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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