Counting with Wayne Thiebaud

Written by: Susan Goldman Rubin

Illustrated by: Sara Gillingham

Before Reading

Explore and Discover

Count to ten with Wayne Thiebaud and his delicious snacks. Talk to your child about the cover and illustrations, and bring his/her attention to different elements. Use prompts and questions like these to preface the book:

This book is called "Counting with Wayne Thiebaud". I wonder what we are going to count! What do you think we will count? I think...

How high can you count? Let's count together!

What do you see? I see 1, 2 ice cream cones! They look like clowns to me. Do you think so? 

Can you find the noses on the ice cream cones? Where are their eyes? Can you point to your nose and eyes?

As You Read

Build Language

Teach your child important pre-literacy lessons by following the words with your finger as you read. This will show your child that you read text from left to right and will demonstrate that each word you say corresponds with a word on the page. With each page, count out the elements before you read the text and encourage your child to point to the illustrations if s/he can. 

You can also engage your child by asking questions. If your child is not yet verbal, provide your own answers. Ask, "What kind of pie do you think this is? I think it's pumpkin pie. When do people eat cake? People eat cake at birthday parties and..." Also, ask what number will follow and what s/he thinks you will be counting next.

After You Read

Make Connections

Talk to/with your child about the story and make your own comments if your child is not yet able to verbally respond. 

Did you like that book? Which picture was your favorite? Do you like to eat ______?

Let's find the ______!

What is your favorite food? How many pieces/bites of ______ do you like to eat?

Extending the Story

Counting and Sorting Activity

Source: Imagination Tree


Have fun counting and sorting with this great activity from Imagination Tree. All you need is recycled jar tops, a shoe box, some scissors and colored markers! They'll learn tons from this activity, including number recognition, fine motor dexterity, counting and problem solving.


A Look at Literacy Development

Incorporating counting into every day routines is super easy, from counting as you pass out snacks and cookies to counting steps as you ascend and descend them. For more ideas, here are some more activities to promote math skills.