Classic Munsch 123
Classic Munsch 123
Like Classic Munsch ABC, Classic Munsch 123 is another wonderful example of “illustration recycling”. In this introductory counting book, Martchenko’s images that have previously appeared in Munsch-authored books provide the foundation for what is to be counted. Unlike many counting books that use base 10, Classic Munsch 123 uses base 12 and presents each number in its standard and word form.
The text is quite brief, and, as can be seen in the above excerpt, is limited to presenting the number and identifying what is to be counted. Each number is given its own two-page spread, with the images appearing on a white background, a design feature that facilitates counting. However, because some of the things that need to be counted do not appear in their entirety or overlap, Classic Munsch 123 should not be viewed as a “first” counting book.
Once the numbers from 1-12 have been mastered, children and adults can then return to the board book’s pages for additional counting practice. For example, children were to find “3 three moms”, but that page also contains three birthday streamers. “1 one” asked youngsters to locate one book, but, during a reread, an adult could ask the child to identify what else there is in the spread of which there is but one. Many of the other spreads also offer counting opportunities that differ from the page’s number.
Overall, Classic Munsch 123 is an effective introduction to both the numbers from 1 to 12 and to the many Munsch/Martchenko collaborations. The book’s last page contains “Even more CLASSIC MUNSCH!”, a listing of Annick Press published Munsch’s books, including the Munsch collections and titles not illustrated by Martchenko.
Classic Munsch 123 is an obvious home, childcare and public library purchase, but it would not be out a place in kindergarten classrooms. As I said in reviewing the earlier book, because there is not a “Key” to the original source of each of the board book’s illustrations, early years teachers could use the book’s contents as a Munsch/Martchenko quiz to see how many of the images students could correctly link to the book in which they originally appeared. The quiz will actually be more challenging this time as, in order to aggregate the correct number of things needed for some of the numbers, such as “8 eight hats”, images had to be “borrowed” from more than one book.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.