The perfect book for little bean counters

Ever tried to guess how many jelly beans are in a big jar at a fair or carnival? I recently enjoyed the experience with my five-year-old. She studied the massive jar of jelly beans for a few minutes and when it was time to make her guess, she earnestly said “Sixty-four.”

I wish we’d read How Many Jelly Beans? by Andrea Menotti first.

In the story, we meet Emma and Aiden who are asked how many jelly beans they would like. Emma starts out by asking for a modest ten. Aiden ups the ante and requests twenty. Then very quickly, the numbers begin to rise and the children tackle some math problems (for example, how many jelly beans they’d have to eat each day to get through a thousand beans a year). The gorgeous jelly bean illustrations are a perfect foil for the maths – this book is all about fun.

As the story goes on and the numbers get bigger, the drawings of the jelly beans get smaller. It finishes with a thrilling, enormous fold-out page of one million jelly beans! Exciting stuff for little bean counters!

It’s hard not to be immediately attracted to this book. Its extra large format and clever use of colour contrasted with heavy black and white characters is eye-catching. And of course the actual story keeps building – the premise is simple but it’s something that children will both identify with and find funny.

Find How Many Jelly Beans? at Book Depository, with free delivery to Australia.


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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