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We are always on the lookout for new books. We’ve made sure to have books in Caroline’s life since day 1, and it’s paid off.
She loves books. “Reading” is at the top of her list of favorite activities and always has been.
So, when we got the chance to review another Annie Aardvark book, we jumped at the idea!
If you haven’t read my review of the first Annie Aardvark book, you can check it out here.
I have two favorite things about these books:
- Annie Aardvark is a STEM (science technology engineering and math) focused book for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Annie Aardvark is a book with a main female character.
As I’ve read to my child over the last almost 4 years (her birthday is next month, can you believe it!?)…I’ve really started to notice the lack of female characters in books.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an animal, a person, a random object or a tree… books seem to refer to these personified characters as male.
In one book, we just naturally were having fun and switched out the character’s name to be “Caroline” (our daughter’s name) for fun.
That also meant switching out all of the “he’s” for “she’s”.
Video above: Caroline SUPER excited about Annie Aardvark and learning to do addition!
Recently she said she was over that and wanted to read it normal again. I found myself wanting to still read it incorrectly and substitute in the female pronouns.
Anyways, I digress…
Annie Aardvark is STEM focused and has a female character. So, naturally, I love these books.
The first one was on counting. The second one, is on adding. I’m guessing the third one might be on subtracting!
Since I’m doing an honest review, I have one tiny complaint about these books that I have to mention…
The pictures are super dark.
I get why. Annie is an aardvark. And, well, aardvarks are nocturnal. So the book is set at night.
That being said, the pictures in both books are dark and hard to see all of the details well.
I wish it was a dark night sky in the background, with a lighter foreground.
That way, we’d be able to see the creatures and objects that Annie is counting and adding together a bit better!
Even with that small complaint, however, I still love the books and look forward to reading more of them.
In the Adding Ants book, there are several things I really appreciate as a mom with a teaching and science background:
- As already mentioned, this book has a female character. We need more books like this to read to our little girls and our little boys.
Written word equations
- This is a great introduction of the terminology of an equation.
- Our children should start hearing these words and phrases early on to better understand them.
- On each page, there is a picture of the “equation” as well.
- This enables your child to be able to point and count the ants on either side of the plus sign (+). Another great introduction to equations.
Ways to enhance the reading and learning experience:
- Asking questions instead of just reading the answer
- If you just read the book as is, Annie answers all of the questions for your child. In fact, there aren’t any questions.
- This is fine for a younger toddler. Sometimes it’s great to just read the information upfront.
- For me, and especially for Caroline’s age and interest in addition, at the moment… we pause and let Caroline answer first.
- So, my natural instinct has been to read “Two ants plus one ant is how many?” (Instead of reading the book verbatim)
2. Write out the numbers in number form
- The book doesn’t have any numbers in number form. I think this is a great addition to add to the learning experience.
- You could write it in the book, underneath the equation. Or, you could have a whiteboard out or some paper to write on as you read.
3. Tangible items to count
- Having physical, tangible items to count is also a really great way for all of us to learn things. Get out some raisins, beans, marshmallows, or m&ms.
- Follow the book and put them into piles with your child. Have them count! Then they get to enjoy some treats along the way.
Caroline really enjoys these books, and so do I. We can’t wait to see what Annie does next in her math adventures!
If you are also interested in checking out these books, there are several ways to do so:
1. Enter the Giveaway and win one!
2. Get an Advanced copy through Kickstarter (Today Oct 22nd ONLY)
3. Purchase the Annie Aardvark: Adding Ants book through Amazon or Barnes and Noble (Official release is November 30th)
4. You can also get the first book NOW through Amazon: Annie Aardvark, Mathemetician
Win Annie Aardvark: Adding Ants-a Rafflecopter giveaway
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