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Valerie Johnson Author Interview

1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm follows a family who visit the family farm for the day and learn about different activities that go on there. What was the inspiration for your story?

My passion and purpose is to inspire, teach, and empower future generations. This story was inspired by summers on my grandfather’s farm and pays tribute to the special bond between children and their grandfathers. The concept of the book is based on my work with young mathematicians in grades K-6 as an Elementary Mathematics Specialist (and former classroom teacher). And, I dedicated this book to my Aunt Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician and Hidden Figure, because she loved to count.

What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?

I want everyone to love math, so I’m writing math-themed children’s books to help ignite a love for math in all children.

The two important educational aspects included in this book—teach math and empower parents to support learning at home with tips, tools, and hands-on tasks. Parental involvement helps to increase student engagement and academic achievement. Parents can also help make learning less scary by practicing math at home. Learning to count is more than just memorizing and calling out numbers. The book’s back matter helps little ones develop (and reinforce) a strong foundation in counting and quantity by engaging in meaningful learning experiences (i.e. practicing the counting sequence, counting a collection, matching the number words with the objects being counted, exploring the idea of more or less, etc.) with visual supports.

The Discussion Starters, questions in the back of the book, help young readers comprehend and analyze the story for deeper meaning. The visual models (counting dots, fingers, animals, etc.) on the following pages help little ones to dive deeper into counting and reasoning mathematically.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Cee Biscoe?

Illustrating my picture book went through a lot of stages and took many months to complete.

First, I sent my manuscript to Cee Biscoe along with other background information so that she could start imagining how everything would look. Over the next several weeks, we collaborated on character development. Then, she drew pencil sketches of the characters and animals. Next, she planned what to show on each page of the story (to determine if there would be single or double-page spreads). Then, she created the thumbnail sketches, rough sketches, and full-size sketches. Revisions also occurred during that time. Once the page layouts (text placement and illustrations) were finalized, she painted the final artwork on large sheets of watercolor paper using gouache paint.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I love fractions and sweet potato pie. And, I’m using both to ignite a love of fractions with a heartwarming story about friendship, sharing, and grandparents — which was inspired by the classic book The Doorbell Rang. This picture book will introduce young readers to basic fraction concepts. I hope to have my next picture book available next year.

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A fun, visually-engaging counting journey from 1 to 10 and more!

Welcome to our farm! It is a place to learn about farm life and animals on a farm, and to celebrate family, especially grandparents.

Children will love counting their way through Granddad’s farm. Pigs and chickens, cows and horses, apples, tomatoes, and plums-so many things to see and count on the farm. Follow an adventurous young girl as she spends the day with her grandfather helping with chores, riding the tractor, and enjoying a big family dinner to celebrate the farm’s bounty and the love of her family.

Learn to Count Build your little ones’ counting knowledge while reading together. Count up to 10. Count the farm animals, tractors, apples, flowers, and anything that can be counted. Read it again! Count down to 1.

Count to Learn Engage in meaningful math moments. Find and count the number of animals on each page, count how many animals there are all together, ask how many would be left if some were taken away, and talk about more and less.

Count in the Real World Help your little ones develop a love of numbers and math. Explore your home, neighborhood, and school. Count everyday objects forward up to any number and backward from any number.

A perfect book for little readers. Have fun counting from 1 to 10 and back again as you learn about farm life, farm animals, and family! Grab your copy of 1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm.

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1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm

Children’s author Valerie D. Johnson has written an engaging counting book titled 1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm. This heartwarming story about a family visiting the family farm is told through counting different things on the farm, starting with one farmhouse sitting on a hill. Then, as the family counts to ten, readers follow along and learn about life on a farm.

This excellent picture book has a lot to offer young readers. The first thing that stood out to me is the different levels of text, giving children of different ages the ability to read and grasp what is going on in the story. Each number is displayed in numerical form as well as spelled out. Next is a simple sentence that beginning readers can follow. After that is a longer explanation of what is happening in the story. This fantastic book can be read at all levels and still make sense. It is easy to follow the numbers and the illustrations done by Cee Biscoe read along without having to read each of the descriptive paragraphs. One example is on the page for number 6. “Six horses work on the farm. Can you find all six? count with me!” This is enough for children to understand the number and count along, but there is more information about horses, what they like to eat, and how to care for them. This layout allows the book to have greater educational use and keeps it interesting for a broader range of children.

1 2 3 Count with Me on Granddad’s Farm will encourage children to read and learn to count while learning about life on a farm creatively and actively. Counting along with the storyteller makes this an active reading children’s book rather than one they would just sit and listen to. At the end of this book, there are notes and discussion starters, as well as a dice counting page. These extra resources are invaluable to teachers and home educators to help turn this into a complete learning unit. This would make an excellent addition to a home or classroom library.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B0B498WYW2

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