The Kids Are All Right

10 Awesome Counting Books

Hello, Kid Lit friends!

I get a lot of questions from people who are looking to buy children’s books as gifts for a baby shower. I love baby shower book present questions! It got me thinking about classic picture books, especially with the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To celebrate five decades, the publisher designed a beautiful golden edition that is coming out on March 20th. I love Eric Carle’s beautiful counting book, and there’s a lovely video of Carle talking about the fiftieth anniversary of his bestselling book here.

While The Very Hungry Caterpillar will always have a special place in my heart, there are lots of amazing counting books that make perfect baby shower gifts. Take a look and let me know what you think!

*Please note that all book descriptions come from the publisher.*

Just for Book Riot readers: sign up for an Audible account, and get two audiobooks free!

Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales

This original trickster tale, with its vivacious illustrations and dynamic read-aloud text, is at once a spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture and a perfect introduction to counting in both English and Spanish.


Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara

Counting up from one stuffed piñata to ten hefty hens–and always counting on each other–children are encouraged to recognize the value of their community, the joys inherent in healthy eco-friendly activities, and the agency they posses to make change. A broad and inspiring vision of diversity is told through stories in words and pictures. And of course, there is a duck to find on every page!

Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno

Gentle watercolor pictures show a landscape changing through the various times of day and the turning seasons, months and years, and the activities of the people and animals who come to live there. But the seemingly simple plan of the book is deceptive: look more carefully and you will see one-to-one correspondences; groups and sets; scales and tabulations; changes over time periods; and many other mathematical relationships as they occur in natural, everyday living. The reader is subtly led to see and understand the real meaning of numbers.

Stack the Cats by Susie Gharamenani

Stack the Cats is a charming book about counting and organizing cats in various formations. But when the cats decide to go their own way—as cats often will—it’s time to count down until there’s only one sweet cat left. Counting forward and backward, understanding when there are more or fewer of something, and grouping and recognizing the number of items in a group are key early-math skills for toddlers, making Stack the Cats as developmentally sound as it is ridiculously adorable.

Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

As her mom reads a bedtime story, Lucy drifts off. But later, she awakens in a dark, still room, and everything looks mysterious. How will she ever get back to sleep? Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley’s first picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Lauren Castillo, evokes the splashy fun of the beach and the quietude of a moonlit night, with twenty yawns sprinkled in for children to discover and count.

This Tree Counts! by Alison Formento, illustrated by Sarah Snow

If you listen closely, the lone tree behind Oak Lane School has a story to tell. It starts with one owl, two spiders, and goes all the way up to ten earthworms using the tree as their home! So what does this tree need? Learn about the importance of trees and count from one to ten in this tale about going green.

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke, illustrated by Angela Brooksbank (Candlewick, 3/12/19)

When Baby and Mama go to the market, Baby is so adorable that the banana seller gives him six bananas. Baby eats one and puts five in the basket, but Mama doesn’t notice. As Mama and Baby wend their way through the stalls, cheeky Baby collects five oranges, four biscuits, three ears of sweet corn, two pieces of coconut . . . until Mama notices that her basket is getting very heavy! Poor Baby, she thinks, he must be very hungry by now! Rhythmic language, visual humor, and a bounty of delectable food make this a tale that is sure to whet little appetites for story time.

One is a Pinata by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra (Chronicle, 3/12/19)

One is a rainbow. One is a cake. One is a piñata that’s ready to break! In this lively picture book, a companion to the Pura Belpré–honored Green Is a Chile Pepper, children discover a fiesta of numbers in the world around them, all the way from one to ten: Two are maracas and cold ice creams, six are salsas and flavored aguas. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal.

How to Two by David Soman (Dial Books, 3/12/19)

A quiet day at the playground turns into a boisterous park-wide adventure as one boy on the slide becomes two kids on the see-saw, then three jumping rope. Before long, ten new friends are playing like they’ve known one another forever. With its deceptively simple text and a rich visual narrative, How to Two is a playful counting and reverse-counting concept book as well as an exuberant celebration of inclusive play, friendship, and community.

I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt (Penguin, 3/12/19)

This is part counting book, part introduction to worms, but all superbly silly. The fact that the author/illustrator can only draw worms will not take anything away from the laugh-out-loud adventure readers will have as they turn the pages of this slightly subversive picture book.


Around the web…

25 of the Best Children’s Books About Space, via Book Riot

Random House to Publish New Dr. Seuss Book, via Publisher’s Weekly


What I’m Reading…

Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis & Gisella Potter (HarperCollins, 3/5/19)

I adored this picture book so much! This book follows the adventures of two dogs; one dog is a puppy and the other is getting older. The beautiful and straightforward language shows their different ways of exploring and experiencing the world. I cannot wait to give this book to all of my dog-loving friends who have young children.

Orange for the Sunsets by Tina Athaide (HarperCollins, 4/2/18)

This middle grade novel is about two friends living in Entebbe, Uganda during President Amin’s divisive rule. Asha is Indian and Yesofu is Ugandan. When President Idi Amin announces that Indians have ninety days to leave the county, suddenly those differences are the only things that people in Entebbe can see. This beautifully written book explores the political unrest during three months in 1972 through the eyes of two twelve-year-olds grappling with their rising awareness of inequality, class differences, and racism.


Do you have a favorite counting book? Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time!

Addie and Nala 🙂

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

Today In Books

Publisher Ready For Mueller Report: Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas.

cover of devil's daughter by lisa kleypas

Publisher Ready For Mueller Report 

In anticipation of the possibility of Mueller’s Report being made public, Skyhorse Press is prepared to have it published in book form. How ready? It already has a cover and an attorney commissioned to write the introduction. Guess they got the early bird memo.

The Night Circus Adaptation Gets A Director

Erin Morgenstern’s amazing The Night Circus is being adapted to film by Lionsgate and we now know the director: Geremy Jasper. The adaptation has been in the works since 2011 and has had three writers on the script–Annie Baker, Moira Buffini, Patrick Ness–so here’s hoping that this director news means we’re going to get the film sooner than later.

The Booker Prize Has New Financial Supporter

Man Booker International Prize lost its financial sponsor and thus is going to be known as the The Booker Prize and The International Booker Prize (literature in translation prize). Its new financial support–for the next five years–is “Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Sir Michael Moritz KBE and his wife, Harriet Heyman.” All’s well that ends well.

Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships Mar 1

Hello, fiends and fauns! I have just returned from a vacation that included the very alien-planet-looking Joshua Tree National Park, and am full of SF/F thoughts. Let’s talk about this year’s Nebula Awards, stand-alone fantasy, Oppy, dragons, and camping in SF/F!

This newsletter is sponsored by Wednesday Books.

a cloudy blue background forms a woman's face, with a lightning bolt straight down the middleAn all new paranormal fantasy series from #1 bestselling authors P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast ignites a world of earth-shattering action and romance where a group of teens question their supernatural abilities. Nothing is what it seems as nature’s power takes control. The wind can change everything and everyone.

The 2018 Nebula Awards ballot has been announced, and we talked about it a bit on this week’s SFF Yeah!

Silvana picked her favorite stand-alone fantasy novels, and some personal favorites (Temper! Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge! The Black God’s Drums!) as well as lots that are new to me made the cut.

This ode to Oppy the Mars Rover (and dive into robots in SF) gave me all the feelings.

Speaking of feelings, this is a lovely piece on two fantasy novels that process the aftermath of trauma.

Any round-up of sci-fi-themed music videos that includes Janelle Monae is all right with me.

This post about how to build your own dragon was not what I was expecting, but I will accept it nonetheless and will be trying to figure out where to get my own Bombardier Beetle.

Fantasy thrillers is not a sub-genre I read often, but this review of two new ones makes a compelling case.

And this riff on the new Game of Thrones-branded Oreo cookies cracked me up.

Given how much I read, it’s probably inevitable that most real-life situations remind me of books. And since I went camping this week, today we’re looking at a few of my favorite books about roughing it in sci-fi and fantasy!

a black woman's hand holds open a bookParable of the Sower by Octavia Butler: This is the first book I thought of, mainly because it takes place in the Pacific Northwest and there’s a whole section about how to make acorns edible. Lauren and her traveling companions are fleeing the destruction of their community, searching for a safe place to start again — there’s a lot of peril along the way, as well as a beautiful spiritual journey.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: And this was the second book I thought of, likely because the Traveling Symphony bits of this book were my favorite. A caravan of people putting on theatrical productions for the survivors of a pandemic? Amazing. Jumping between the moment that a killer flu hits civilization and then 15 years in the future, when the world has changed dramatically, this mid- and post-apocalypse novel feels all too possible, and highly compelling.

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd: Another cataclysmic novel; people start to develop magical powers but lose their memories in the process, and civilization begins to unravel. Includes hunting, gathering, and wilderness peril as well as dangerous cityscapes, and this was one of my favorites of last year.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: There is a theme developing here, in that surviving an apocalypse often involves camping. Of course, it helps if you’ve been training your whole life for this to happen, and you have superpowers — with the awful caveat that those powers are why you’re on the run in the wilderness. If you haven’t picked up this book yet, what are you even waiting for! Trigger warnings: harm to children.

Ammonite by Nicola Griffith: You’re probably tired of hearing me talk about this book, but there is a fantastic survivalist section in the middle that made me incredibly grateful for extreme-cold-rated sleeping bags.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson: Camping may go with apocalypses (apocalypsi?) in sci-fi, but anyone can camp in fantasy… including a demi-god. Hiding his true nature, Demane signs on with a caravan and then finds himself relying on his powers when a terrifying creature starts killing his brothers-in-arms.

a curved dagger with a white hilt and jeweled base, set against a red-tinged backdropEmpire of Sand by Tasha Suri: Some folks choose the wilderness life, and some have it thrust upon them. Such is the plight of Mehr, the illegitimate but pampered daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled tribeswoman. When her family is threatened, she agrees to a marriage and pledges her fledgling magical powers to the service of the Emperor, and a harrowing trip across the desert is only the start of her troubles.

Honorable mentions are, of course, due to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I liked the camping bits!) and the Lord of the Rings, which maybe wins for Most Camping Of Any Epic. When will REI start carrying lembas, is my question.

And that’s a wrap! You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’re interested in more science fiction and fantasy talk, you can catch me and my co-host Sharifah on the SFF Yeah! podcast. For many many more book recommendations you can find me on the Get Booked podcast with the inimitable Amanda, or on Twitter as jennIRL.

Your fellow booknerd,

The Stack


Today’s The Stack is sponsored by The Umbrella Academy, published by Dark Horse Comics.

In an inexplicable worldwide event, 47 children are born to women who had shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of these extraordinary children. This dysfunctional family of superheroes formed the Umbrella Academy. At age ten, they defeated their first enemy. A decade later, they disbanded. But when their father dies mysteriously, the siblings reunite to face the threat of the apocalypse and save the world.

The Umbrella Academy is an Eisner Award-winning comic series created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, now being adapted into a live-action TV series, coming to Netflix February 15, 2019!


Riot Rundown TestRiotRundown


Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by Beautiful Bad, a gripping psychological thriller by Annie Ward and the book everyone is talking about. There are two sides to every story and every person in Beautiful Bad. Fans of An Anonymous Girl by Sarah Pekkanen & Greer Hendricks and Fiona Barton’s The Widow will love Beautiful Bad. Order your copy today at

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD and her concerns for the safety of their young son. Sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.


Win $100 to Spend on Amazon!


Swords and Spaceships is our biweekly newsletter about all things sci-fi and fantasy literature, and we’re giving away a $100 gift card to Amazon to one lucky reader to spend on books about aliens and/or dragons! (Or really anything you want. But an alien dragon book does sound cool).

Go here for your chance to win, or just click the image below. Good luck!

Check Your Shelf

Bad Library Legislation, the Most Disturbing Books Ever Read, and Spanish Harry Potter Audiobooks

Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).

“Check Your Shelf” is sponsored by Epic Reads.

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society. And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.

Libraries & Librarians

Book Adaptations in the News

Books & Authors in the News

Upcoming Books in 2019

By the Numbers

Award News

Pop Cultured

All Things Comics


Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Level Up (Library Reads)

Do you take part in LibraryReads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.


–Katie McLain, @kt_librarylady on Twitter. Currently reading Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage.

Book Radar

The NIGHT CIRCUS Adaptation Conjures Up a Director and More Book Radar!

Hello, Thursday readers! How is your week going? I have had a headache I can’t shake (BOO!) but I have also been having fun rearranging all my books (YAY!), so I can’t complain too much. I find alphabetizing books to be so relaxing. (Moving them from room to room, not so much, LOL.) This last week of February has been a quiet one, but I still have a few fun things to share. Have a great rest of your week, and remember to eat your cereal with a fork and do your homework in the dark.  – xoxo, Liberty

Sponsored by Flatiron Books, publishers of Save Me From Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk.

Nikki Griffin isn’t your typical private investigator. In her office above her bookstore’s shelves and stacks, she also tracks certain men. Dangerous men. She seeks justice for those who need her help in Save Me From Dangerous Men, the debut by S.A. Lelchuk.

Trivia question time! What is the title of Monica Ali’s 2003 novel about London’s Bangladeshi community? (Scroll to the bottom for the answer.)

Deals, Reals, and Squeals!

the night circusThe Night Circus film has a director! It’s the first big announcement since the adaptation was announced in 2011, so hopefully this means things will move along more quickly now.

Helen Hoang has signed a four-book deal with Berkley Romance.

Mila Kunis bought the TV rights to The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz.

Cover Reveals

Attica Locke shared the cover to her Bluebird, Bluebird follow-up: Heaven My Home. (Mulholland Books, September 17)

Here’s a look at Origin of a Hero (She-Ra Chapter Book #1) by Tracey West and Amanda Schank. (Scholastic Inc., April 30)

Sneak Peeks

the golden compassHere’s the first peek at the BBC’s new adaptation of His Dark Materials. (I wasn’t planning on watching this, but then I found out Ruth Wilson is in it.)

And speaking of Philip Pullman, here’s a trailer for the The Secret Commonwealth: Volume 2 of The Book of Dust.

And here’s a teaser trailer for Joe Hill’s NOS4A2.

Book Riot Recommends 

At Book Riot, I work on the New Books! email, the All the Books! podcast about new releases, and the Book Riot Insiders New Release Index. I am very fortunate to get to read a lot of upcoming titles, and learn about a lot of upcoming titles, and I’m delighted to share a couple with you each week so you can add them to your TBR! (It will now be books I loved on Mondays and books I’m excited to read on Thursdays. YAY, BOOKS!)

Excited to read:

the revisionersThe Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Counterpoint, November 5)

As you may recall, I was a big fan of MWS’s last book, A Kind of Freedom, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. So I am extremely excited to see what she has for us next! The description says it’s about survivors and healers over 100 years in the American South. I can’t wait!

What I’m reading this week.

if cats disappearedIf Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura, Eric Selland (translator)

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

And this is funny.

I’ve watched this way too many times. (Heads up: There’s a swear word in Twitter avatar photo, so it might make this NSFW for some people.)

Trivia answer: Brick Lane.

You made it to the bottom! High five. Thanks for reading! – xo, L

Kissing Books

Match Your Romance With A Beer

It’s Thursday, and you know what that means! (No, not that it’s almost Friday, though that’s good, too.)

We’ve got new books to talk about! I’m so excited.

Sponsored by Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

West Ravenel is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, Lady Clare, he is consumed by irresistible desire. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with the most devilishly wicked rake in England. Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past? Only the devil’s daughter knows…

Over on Book Riot

Looking for some good romance-beer matches?

Sil did us a favor and highlighted some upcoming #romanceclass novels coming out. Which are you looking forward to?

How about some historicals? You’ve probably read a bunch of these authors, but there’s always a chance to find someone new.

So The L Word is coming back, and Dana pulled together some great books to read while we’re waiting. It’s not all romance, but there are some good titles in there!

If you’re doing the Read Harder challenge, Trisha pulled together some historical romances by authors of color to check out.

Did someone say romance short stories for free? Oh yeah, Casey did.


cover of falling for him by alisha raiIf you’re counting down the minutes until The Right Swipe comes out, check out Alisha Rai’s Falling for Him. It’s a novella featuring an age difference and some hot lovin. What would a Rai book be without the hot lovin, right? 99 cents is totally an easy price to pay for so much hotness. And if you’re done with that one, the second Karimi Siblings book, Waiting for Her, is 2.99. (Also, did I mention that Hate to Want You is also 1.99?)

If you’re looking for a new historical series starter, Christi Caldwell’s The Rogue’s Wager is 99 cents and FREE if you have Prime Reading. You’ve got a Marquess who has no desire to live a serious life, and a bookkeeper at a gambling den. What could go wrong? (He could go into her bedroom by accident, that’s what.)

New Releases

cover of hired by zoey castileHired
Zoey Castile

Y’all. This book is a goddamned delight. It’s the sequel to Stripped, but you don’t have to have read it in order to know what’s going on. You just have to know that Zoey called the series a love letter to Magic Mike XXL, and the Strippers With Feelings trope has never been better. In this one, Aiden is unhappy in New Orleans, and happens upon Faith, whose mother is running for mayor. They have an…unsuccessful…one night stand, and then find themselves unable to keep their thoughts—or their hands—off each other. There’s just one problem: Aiden is an escort, and he’s technically on call for a client. If he could bring himself to tell Faith, he might be forgiven. But what are the chances that would happen?

cover of unconditional freedom by alyssa coleAn Unconditional Freedom
Alyssa Cole

Okay. This book. I haven’t actually finished this book. I started it a while ago and just…stopped. It’s not an easy book to read. It’s. Intense. Daniel is so broken, and his mind is painful to be inside. Janeta is so lost, and learning too quickly how wrong her upbringing was. The two don’t seem like they’d go well together, but they have to work together on a mission for the Loyal League. Did I mention Janeta is a spy? For the Confederacy? Yeah, it’s bad. But I know if I stick to it, all will come out well on the other side. Alyssa Cole doesn’t disappoint when it comes to growing her characters and helping them discover the best in themselves.  So what if it happens twenty pages at a time? More time for me to get used to the fact that the series is ending.

(PS – I don’t know how long this will be the case, but if you haven’t yet read the first two in the series, An Extraordinary Union and A Hope Divided are both 2.99 right now.)

cover of how to be a movie star by tj kluneHow to be a Movie Star
TJ Klune

This actually came out a couple weeks ago, but I missed it. I missed a new TJ Klune novel. In this sequel to How to Be a Normal Person (I’m not sure how they’re connected), demisexual Josiah wants to be a movie star, but hasn’t really gotten farther than a couple of bit parts. He’s sort of friends with novelist-turned-filmmaker Q-Bert. They communicate relatively well, considering Josy isn’t always…sober. (Content warning: apparently Josy is quite the stoner, so if that’s something that turns you off, now you know.) TJ Klune, if you haven’t read his work, does an amazing thing where he combines humor and heart-wrenching heaviness, but it all turns out good in the end.

cover of fierce justice by piper j drakeFierce Justice
Piper J. Drake

This is the fifth book in the True Heroes series, but you can definitely start here if you want to. A K9 handler has to help a “soldier of fortune” stop a kidnapping ring, and they clash the whole way through it. The last time they met, they were on opposite sides of the conflict, so they have to figure out how to work together this time. And while it doesn’t yet have a record in, every place I’ve looked (mostly Amazon and Goodreads reviews) has no record of the dog dying. So there’s that.

As usual, catch me on Twitter @jessisreading or Instagram @jess_is_reading, or send me an email at if you’ve got feedback or just want to say hi!

Today In Books

11-Year-Old Crochet Prodigy Gets Book Deal: Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by Beautiful Bad, a gripping psychological thriller by Annie Ward.

Beautiful Bad cover image

The Future Is In Good Hands

Jonah Larson has landed a book deal after an article about his crocheting went viral. The 11-year-old’s book–Hello, Crochet Friends! Making Art, Being Mindful, Giving Back: Do What Makes You Happy–will publish in July. So this article is totally worth clicking to see his you-should-be-a-star photo and to get to know him. Also, of course this amazing child has a “GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Roots Ethiopia, a nonprofit organization that partners with Ethiopian communities to improve education and support entrepreneurship.”

10,000 Public Domain Books Digitized By The Arabic Collections Online

The Arabic Collections Online hit a big milestone recently having digitized more than 10,000 public domain volumes making them available for free across the globe. You can read more about this awesome project, and their goal to digitize 23,000 books, here.

Free Online Resources For Teachers And Students

Anyone really can benefit from Masterpiece on PBS’s online Masterpiece Collection which, according to PBS, is “a treasure trove of videos from MASTERPIECE films, supported by essays and teaching tips, this collection offers innovative ways to access, understand, and analyze classic literature adapted for the screen.” Learn more about getting your literary classics learning on here.