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Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork, the 20 minutes before lights out, just... More

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Author: Harriet Fishel

Illustrator: Jim Nuttle

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Publisher: American Literary Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Life would certainly be different if our favorite numbers from 1 to 5 went away. What would our hands and feet look like? Is a triangle still a triangle without three sides? And what about life on the farm. Where would we get blankets if not for sheep's wool? how would we grow without milk? These are the questions ... but what are the answers. This rhyming picture book explores the what ifs of life without the basics.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 9; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Age of Child: Started reading with 6-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our child giggled and laughed at each of the propositions. S/He even stopped to count fingers and toes! Although suitable for emerging readers (solid vocabulary and repetition), unless your 8-year-old is reading it to a younger sibling, they probably want books with more story.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an easy, enjoyable read. The illustrations make it fun to share and everyone is likely to laugh out loud. This would be particularly fun with preschoolers who tend to love these kinds of questions.

Pros: This rhyming picture book gives parents plenty to talk about with young pre-readers. It covers many of the basic items that fill a child's world, from numbers to shapes, to food and clothing.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Toddlers and preschoolers in particular will want to read this over and over again.


Educational Themes: There are plenty of opportunities to stop reading and ask "what do you think?" or "what would it be like if." You can also go a step beyond by looking around the house (or during a drive) and offer similar question: what would happen if the clouds didn't rain? what if a red light turned blue? All creative thinking and fun!

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, literacy, counting

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2008

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