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 "Thandi Counts to Ten" by Donald Woodburn

This book is aimed at preprimary and Grade 1 children, aged between 4 and 7 years, and incorporates Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS) principles. Donald and Catherine were assisted in the key stages by four teachers (and quite a few vocal librarians) to ensure that Thandi Counts to Ten would serve as more than a simple reader.

Thandi Counts to Ten is so much more than just a reader for Grades 0 and 1. It is a bright intelligent book that incorporates counting on, basic number operations, patterns, all 11 official languages, Deaf Sign, visual literacy, life skills and so much more. It is dynamic, modern and inclusive!

When working on the illustrations Catherine used counting, patterns, shape and space, while Donald used number names and symbols in the text.

In the book Thandi counts everyday objects and experiences mathematics in her bright, exciting, contemporary world. So parents and teachers can use this book to help children develop counting skills (including counting on and basic number operations), pattern work and concepts of space and shape.

Thandi Counts to Ten" by Donald Woodburn

The book also definitely serves the teacher for teaching visual literacy with counting concepts cleverly carried from page to page. For example Thandi’s ponytails, eyelashes and earrings all reflect the increase of numbers from page to page. For scanning purposes Thandi also wears her clothes more than once in different combinations. And very importantly on pages 10, 18 and 26 each of the pictures is made up of elements of all the pictures preceding them! Really good detailed work to teach from, and for kids to scan and explore for long periods!

There is also a wonderful double page at the back of the book in which deaf counting and the other ten official languages are represented.

Donald’s rhyming text is also useful to use as a springboard for exploring and developing language skills.

And in the spirit of All the People of the World, Thandi Counts to Ten subtly engages with values and attitudes such as self esteem, family life, gender equality, race, environment and so on.

Educators are loving this book, and I am not surprised!

This book uses:

number names
number symbols
the building up and breaking down of numbers
counting on in multiples
everyday objects
number lines
counting forwards and backwards


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