Monday, March 31, 2014

Ten Sly Piranhas


I love this book!  William Wise has crafted a delightful, gently macabre tale of "wickedness and worse" to help children learn to count backward.

In the grand tradition of "Ten Little Speckled Frogs" and "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed," Wise uses rhyme and repetition to reinforce counting in reverse.

Ten Sly Piranhas is really quite entertaining, although highly sensitive children might be rattled by the ruthlessness of those nasty old piranhas.  I gave this book to my nephew when he was 3 or 4 and it scared him a bit.

The text includes wonderful vocabulary and figurative language: roguish rascals, rotten to the core, slippery schemer, frolicsome, vanquished, cunning, and more.  What a great start for a writing activity/lesson!

The final page of the book includes a note about piranhas that provides interesting facts about this peculiar variety of fish.

Try giving your child 10 Goldfish crackers and let them eat one each time a piranha eats one of his companions "with a gulp and a gurgle."

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