Thursday, October 20, 2011

Anno's Counting Book


Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno is one of those books that my kids and I looked at constantly when they were in elementary school. Starting with 0 and ending with 12, it’s the most complex and interesting counting book I’ve ever encountered.

The first page is an empty landscape, corresponding to 0. The wordless book adds objects to each consecutive page, corresponding to each number and reflecting the seasons, time of day, and other events in nature and human life. The number of objects in the landscape grows exponentially and symmetrically, and the detailed watercolor illustrations inspire careful examination.

Anno’s Counting Book is a helpful book for developing mathematical understanding of basic and, later, more complex concepts, but what makes it extraordinary is its evocation of the beauty of numbers. It inspires questions about beauty and what makes something beautiful, about whether beauty can tell us anything about truth, and about the relationship between mathematics and aesthetics.

3 comments:

Mrs. Donovan said...

Hi. I'm a Primary teacher in England and we have just started a philosophical community of equiry with our Year 6 children (age 10-11). I love your blog. I wondered if you could recommend a stimulus for a discussion about democracy?

Jana said...

One book that I really like for discussions about democracy and what constitutes a just society is The Araboolies of Liberty Street by Sam Swope. I should write about this one. Glad you like the blog!

Mrs. Donovan said...

Thank you. I shall look up the resource.

I am also looking for a school in the US to link with via our school blog
http://bradfordschools.net/blog/miriamlord/2011/11/02/what-is-a-philosophical-question/#comments

The idea is that on a weekly basis the children (ages 10-11)comment on a philosophical question. We have just started philosophy in school and have linked with a school in London and West Yorkshire. This week we are beginning to try out an inter-school philosophy blog. Do you know of any schools that may want to participate?