Tuesday, April 20, 2021

ReFoReMo Mini-Monthly Writing Challenge: Let Me Count the Ways

By Janie Reinart

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go! You guessed it! Your challenge this month is to write a counting story.  You can add magic to your counting book like Dawn Young in Counting Elephants. Kate Read's story, One Fox is a counting book thriller. Be sure to check out the ultimate list of counting books on Anna Geiger's blog. Anna Geiger, M.Ed. is CEO of the Measured Mom blog. Check out her  post The Ultimate List of Counting Books.

I recently read the picture book, I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbit to my two grandsons aged six and three. When I was finished, both boys yelled, "Read it again!"  The boys laughed out loud in several places in the story.

By Will Mabbitt

"This is a book about worms. (I can only draw worms.)
   Here's worm ONE.
   Here's worm TWO.
   Here they are both together.
   It's hard to know which is which.
   I'll. give the second worm glasses.
   That's better. Now you can tell them apart."

By Vivian Kirkfield

Wildlife greets the day and finds shelter, safety, and fun on the river in this lyrical, ecologically oriented counting book. Vivian  Kirkfield created back matter that introduces each species, conservation efforts, causes for animals to become endangered, and what people can do to protect wild habitats.

"Water wakes. 
  Dawn breaks.
  in a chorus of birdsong.
  One willow flycatcher whistles
   as the night slips silently away."

By Anthony D. Fredericks

Tall Tall Tree: A Nature Book for Kids About Forest Habitats is a rhyming counting book with STEAM activities. Back matter contains information about redwood trees and the animals that live there. 

"Creeping, hopping, zipping
throughout the redwood's green
are many different creatures
who are very seldom seen.

They live among the branches
high in this tall tall tree.
Insects, birds, and mammals.
Let's count them--one, two three."

Have fun creating your counting story. Mention your favorite counting books in the comments.
Ready. Set. Go!


  1. My three sons are grown now with some sons of their own. I cannot for the life of me remember one counting book they claimed as their favorite. I think I’ll dig into this gap. I have an idea for one to write.

    1. Good luck, Joyce. Metaphors be with you.❤️

  2. Well, Janie, I like your bird book as a counting book. LOL

  3. Counting Crocodiles is fun. There is so much to look at on the pages and it is set in an exotic place. And Count The Monkeys is just as fun as is anything Mac Barnett does. I've written one of my own, but I think I might look at doing it from 10 to 1 instead and see how it works out. Thanks for the post.

  4. I like Warthogs in the Kitchen: A Sloppy Counting Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards. It even has cupcake recipes in the back. One for humans and another for warthogs! Lots of fun for kids who enjoy desserts and baking.

  5. Counting Creatures by Julia Donaldson is lovely. Thankful for the writing a post that counts!

  6. So many great suggestions. I Can Only Draw Worms sounds clever and funny. Adding them to my list. I was just rereading old old kidlit and remember loving this one: Over in the meadow in the sand, in the sun, lived an old mother turtle and her little turtle one, etc.

  7. Perfect timing - I just wrote a rough draft for a counting book! Thanks for the awesome titles to check out - I'm sure they will really be helpful.

  8. Love the beauty of Tall Tall Trees! My counting book just received a 1 from Rate Your Story. ♥️😊

  9. Just realized how little I know about counting books. I know my ABC books. I guess it's my preference of letters over numbers? I remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar and 10 Little Ladybugs. I'm going to correct this problem and get to know some of these titles. And I'm going to write one. So there! Thank You!

  10. I love the Tall Tall Trees. It’s inspired me to write a counting book. Thank you for the inspirational post.

  11. Ooooh, me likiey this challenge Janie. CAn't wait to share it with the group! THANKS!

  12. I love Donald Crews 10 Black Dots! I love the candy counting books, like the m and m counting books, because children can eat their math. I have 4 PB manuscripts already written on various math concepts. I just need to be brave enough to start submitting!

  13. Additionally, I just ordered Vivian Kirkfield's Four Otters Tobaggon! We need more math books. I love that Vivian has connected a nature study with counting. Mirka's beautiful prints perfectly illustrate this poetic gentle counting book.

  14. Fun counting books! Hmmm,I love all of the examples in this post. I also enjoy Anno's Counting Book.

  15. Thanks for introducing me to some new counting books It’s interesting how some of these books have STEAM themes.

    I’m trying to recall the title of a board book about 10 little dinosaurs jumping on the bed (similar to Ten Little Monkeys). My grandsons at ages 3-6 loved that book. The funny illustrations with moving interactive eyes also kept them engaged. The title may be Ten Little Dinosaurs.

  16. Janie, these books are awesome mentor texts. I've read a few :) You've written a terrific counting book! I'll try putting my beanie brain to work on a counting project.