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Around the Neighborhood, A Counting Lullaby

Author: Sarah L. Thomson

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ISBN: 9780761461647

Publisher: Two Lions

Binding: Hardcover

Year Distributed: 2014 - 2015

Availability: Past Books

Themes/Topics: Animals, Numbers, Songs, Play

Maine Based
Book Acticity

The popular lullaby "Over in the Meadow" is reimagined in this fun counting book that visits the families in a neighborhood, including a mother and her child, a dog and his puppies, a spider and his spiderlings, and a mallard and her ducklings. Sarah L. Thomson's lyrical text is paired with Jana Christy's adorable artwork for a perfect read aloud treat.

Age Group 24 months

What’s Happening at this Age

  • Pretending to read books
  • Finishing sentences in their favorite books
  • Scribbling on paper
  • Knowing names of books and identifying them by the picture on the cover
  • Turning pages right to left
  • Making connections between pictures and real life, like noticing their own shoes when they see a picture of shoes.

A whole lot of learning goes into how your toddler is interacting with books now! You’ve been reading to them for two years and now they know how to hold the book so their stuffed animals can see the pictures when your toddler “reads” to them. Your child may even be pointing out interesting things on the page and asking questions just like you do when you read to them. They likely have a favorite book that they want you to read, and that they may even pretend to read to you. This may not seem important as they’re “just pretending” but they’re doing all the things a skilled reader does without actually reading the text. This pretending is an important part of becoming a reader. When they “read” to you, it’s your turn to say, “Again! Again!” and know that you’re building a reader!

Click here to see a full list of milestones for your 2-year-old as well as tips and activities for you and your toddler!

Why did we select this book?

What does this book not have? There is rich rhyme, the chance to sing or hum, counting, and pictures with all sorts of hidden surprises. This is the kind of book that you can turn to again and again to engage your child in read aloud. Most important, your child can connect to the text and illustrations because it is set in a familiar context for our Maine children. This connecting helps build your child's comprehension skills, so important for becoming a reader herself!

Book Acticity
Related Activities

If you don’t know the tune to the folk song Over in the Meadow, try to find a clip of it online (like on YouTube). The music will help you sing the book or give your reading the nice rhythm the song provides. While you are thinking of singing, you might think about moving, too. Each animal action is one you can do with your child. Let them hop, pounce, and spin along with the animals.

Look to the final pages to revisit all the animals and the number they represent in the book. Count these animals with your little one. They do not need to learn to count with this book, but when they copy you counting on the page and the order of the numbers, they are well on their way to counting.

You can also talk about what animals live near you, which ones you like best, etc. After many readings, you might look for clues in the picture to what the next animal will be. The next animal is somewhere on the page! Explore the map in the beginning of the book and see if you can remember where the animals were in the neighborhood. For example, “Can you find the iron gate where the crows were? The orange house where the baby lives? The blue slide where the ladybugs were?” Look for the “Beyond Reading Aloud” section in a Raising Readers edition of this book for other read aloud ideas.


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