Counting books

Ten Fat Sausages

1, 2, 3... it's time to get counting! It's never too early to start learning about numbers, and books are a great way to make that fun.

We've put together a list of some of our favourite counting books to help your little ones get to grips with maths - and whether they're totting up gorillas, fruits, or even legs, they'll be enjoying themselves so much that they'll be memorising pi before you know it. 

  • Ten Fat Sausages

    Author: Michelle Robinson Illustrator: Tor Freeman
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 5+

    Everything in this sausagey counting book works perfectly: from the big, bold illustration to the satisfying rhyme that works well for preschoolers. It will also entertain adults and older children, who will really get the silly humour.

  • This Little Piggy

    Author: Jarvis
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 0-3

    In this bright, fun counting book, pigs play bongos, eat potatoes, refuse to shower and do a fair amount of mud-swimming. Perfect for toddlers learning to count, but who maybe want a bit of fun along the way.

  • Number Garden

    Author: Isabel Otter Illustrator: Sophie Ledesma
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 4-5

    Nature and numeracy are seamlessly combined in this fun, colourful and informative board book for young readers. Guided by Marigold the tortoise, young children will visit a variety of gardens and practise counting up to ten. 

  • One Night in the Zoo

    Author: Judith Kerr
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 6+

    This rhyming counting book is set in a zoo and follows the antics of the various animal inhabitants once night falls.

  • Nibbles Numbers

    Author: Emma Yarlett
    Publisher: Little Tiger Press
    Interest age: 1-5

    Nibbles, the book-eating monster, is munching his way through all the numbers in this first counting book which will entertain adults and children alike. Fun and interactive. 

  • Counting Sheep

    Author: Michelle Robinson Illustrator: Nikki Dyson
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 2-5

    Sam the farm dog tries to settle the animals down at bedtime, but they are full of energy and in no mood for sleeping. An entertaining picture book which will help young readers develop their counting skills.

  • Cockatoos

    Author: Quentin Blake
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 2+

    The eccentric and absent-minded Professor Dupont is the proud but worried owner of ten cockatoos.

  • 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

    Author: Eric Carle
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 1-5

    Glorious two-dimensional illustrations in soft sponge-prints bring the animals to life and encourage counting without the need for words. This is a book to treasure.

  • One Mole Digging a Hole

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
    Interest age: 2-5
    Reading age: 5+

    In this vibrant counting book, one mole digging a hole is soon joined by a troupe of gardening friends, including nine doves in gardening gloves and ten bees pruning trees.

  • Sixes and Sevens

    Author: John Yeoman Illustrator: Quentin Blake
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4+
    Reading age: 7+

    A comic counting book follows Barnaby and his raft on a ten-stop journey to Limber Lea. At each village Barnaby has to collect something and his mother advises him that if he has any difficulties, he should look in his big box.

  • Have You Seen My Dragon?

    Author: Steve Light
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 2-5

    A counting book that is a cut above the rest in terms of its beautiful design and style. New Yorker Steve Light brings all the shapes and sights of the city to these stunning spreads.

  • Ten Terrible Dinosaurs

    Author: Paul Strickland
    Publisher: Picture Corgi
    Interest age: 3-8
    Reading age: 5+

    A fun rhyming counting book which small children will love. They can learn the words, point at the pictures, count the dinosaurs and copy their comical jigging and jiving. Exuberant and amusing illustrations complement the text in this welcome reprint of a popular classic. 

  • How Many Legs?

    Author: Kes Gray Illustrator: Jim Field
    Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    How many legs are coming to my party? This is what's puzzling a little boy who has invited all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures to share his celebratory feast.

  • Counting Lions

    Author: Katie Cotton Illustrator: Stephen Walton
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 3-5

    Counting lions is a beautifully illustrated counting book with a strong conservation message. Beginning with one lion and ending with ten zebras, the text is used to carefully describe the behaviour of the animal. Stephen Walton's full page black and white illustrations show each animal in compelling detail. The illustrations and text combine to create a glo…

  • Dogs in Cars

    Author: Felix Massie & Emmanuelle Walker
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 3-7
    Reading age: 5+

    Five fluffy Eurasiers riding round in force; Six French bulldogs graceful as a prancing horse! If you can't think of many dog breeds before reading this book, you certainly will by the time you've finished it! 

  • 123 with Goose

    Author: Laura Wall
    Publisher: Award Publications
    Interest age: 0-3

    Laura Wall’s brilliant Goose character goes back to basics in this gorgeous board book for babies. A simple 1 to 10 count is illustrated with the lovable goose, his little friend, some ducklings and some frogs.