Picture Book: Math


Two at the Zoo A Counting Book

Bibliographic information:

Smith, D., & Petrone, V. (2009). Two at the Zoo A Counting Book. New York:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Plot description:

A trip to the zoo with a little boy and his grandpa. This picture book uses the animals at the zoo for counting up to the number 10. Colors, rhyming, descriptive words and a fun filled day at the zoo make this a good book to read over and over.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Early Reader/Beginning Reader

Lexile: BR150L

Suggested age range:2-3

Qualitative Reading Analysis:


The story begins at the entrance to the zoo and goes to the end of the trip and the counting is done in order from 1 to 10

Language demands:

A preschool reader can identify the numbers and will need help with the descriptions.

Knowledge demands:

Different types of animals and the sounds they make.


Learning about counting, rhyming and use of descriptive words.

This books suggested age range is 2-3 years old and I do not agree due to the language is more difficult “Penguins marching, penguins dive. Waddle, toddle.” It would be better suited for Kindergarten and Pre-K the 2-3 age range would need assistance.

Content Area:

Math, counting, rhyming

Content Area Standard:

When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text

With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Curriculum suggestions:

Best used in a Pre -K to Kindergarten class room for counting, rhyming, colors and descriptive words. Story can be used as a class activity or a one-on-one.

Links to supporting digital content:

After reading the book the students can look through magazines and cut out an item for each number through ten. http://lessons.atozteacherstuff.com/439/class-number-book/

Counting bracelets-“You need a pipe cleaner and ten beads. Thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner and fold over the ends and make a bracelet. Then they use the bracelet as a manipulative.” http://lesson-plans.theteacherscorner.net/math/counting/


Math, Picture book


Counting to 10, colors, descriptive words and rhyming.

Personal Thoughts:

My four year old son was excited to have this book read to him. He is a preschooler and identified the animals and the numbers as well as made the sounds of the animals. The pictures were a great guide for him to make his own comments such as “I am afraid of spiders”. It was also a great way to practice rhyming which is an important skill we are working on for Kindergarten.


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