Since we’ve been spending so much time outside lately, it made me think of one of our favorite books… Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward. This book has everything! The girls actually picked it out when we were exploring our local Goodwill store and at first it looked like just a cute counting book. But it is so much more and quickly became one of our favorites.
The writing is so fun and lyrical and the illustrations are vibrant and beautiful . Taking place in the garden, the story describes the mom and baby insects living there while counting through numbers 1 to 10. My girls loved seeing the babies with their moms.
Not only is there counting in each verse, the number is also hidden somewhere on the page. And while the insects are described in the story, there is also a Fun Facts section at the back of the book with more in depth information. The book even introduces the reading strategy of prediction since each illustration also has off in the corner the bug for the next page (I’m embarrassed to admit that it was my daughters who pointed this out to me). And remember how I said the writing was lyrical? Well, it really is since the sheet music is included at the back of the book so that you can sing the entire thing if you want.