Tracks Count: A Guide to Counting Animal Prints by Steve Engel and Illustrated by Alexander M. Petersen

First off, I’m so impressed with this book that I nominated it for a Cybils Award.  

On to the book:  Do you know how many toes a rhinoceros has?  What does the footprint of a rhinoceros even look like?  How many toes does a wolf have?  What does a coatimundi look like?  Can you identify the tracks of a tapir?  This beautifully charcoal-sketched picture book teaches counting, addition, how to identify animal prints, and the parts of an animal track.  It’s simple enough for a very young child to enjoy, but gives more information for older children and adults when desired.

My four-year-old son loves this book!  He’s asked me to read it to him on many occasions. I’ve also found him looking through the book by himself counting the toe pads of the tracks. (And this is a child that bemoans counting jellybeans — so I’m clearly thrilled.)  After reading Tracks Count for the first time, he asked me to go outside and help him find animal prints.  No coatimundi in our Bay Area suburb, but we’re starting to keep an eye out for squirrel tracks.

We’ve read a lot of counting books and we’ve read a lot of animal books — Tracks Count is the best of both.

Visit the Cybils site to see all of this year’s nonfiction nominations.

Ages 3 – 10+. Craigmore Creations.  October 2014. 32 pages. ISBN:  9781940052076. Non-Fiction.

Where to Get it:

You Should Read Tracks Count because:

  • It has lots of counting and subtly introduces addition.  At the end of the book is a great spread of numbers with the tracks underneath them.  It’s nicely done.
  • After reading this book, you’ll be able to identify the tracks of a coatimundi, a tapir, a wolverine, a caribou, and several others.
  • You are your little one will be able to distinguish between the tracks of a moose and a caribou.
  • Maybe caribou are scarce in your part of the world, but this book plants the seed of looking for tracks. You may be surprised when you actually do see animal tracks. (I certainly was.)
  • There’s a great deal of leniency in how much or how little of this book you read.  Younger children can stick with basic counting while older children (and adults, too) can read animal facts at the end of the book as well as the introduction about animal tracks.  I’m a big fan of books that can grow with the child.
  • Beautiful illustrations!  The animals are realistically illustrated with just a touch of magic as the otters wave good-bye at the end.
  • The text is made up of simple, engaging statements such as, “On the hot savannah, three rhinoceros rest under a tree.  Count the toes on the track — one, two, three!”

Author, Illustrator, and Publisher Websites:

More Reviews of Tracks Count:  A Guide to Counting Animal Prints:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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