Written by Karen S. Robbins
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this book for young children. I was expecting a book that has too much to sort out on a page, is visually distracting for young children, and could easily be torn or damaged by accident.
The author of Think Circles! isolates each illustration on the pages to answer the hint. For example: On page 1, the hint is “Bouncing Circle” and the question is “What can it be?” On the opposite page, there is a hidden object with just one opening to view part of the pictured answer with the word, “Think.” Adults get to have fun with this, too, as they read the words to the child and maybe, if needed, add another hint to play along with “thinking” about what the hidden object might be. I love that she invites the child to “think.”
Ms. Robbins also adds in another level of difficulty by adding objects to each page. So, on page 1, there is just one hidden object. On page 2 there are two hidden objects. On page 3 there are three objects, and so on to 10. On each page, there are the corresponding openings, so that children can count the openings and then count the objects when they open the flap to see the answer.
As a teacher, I would present one concept at a time. I would either introduce the book as a problem-solving lesson or as a counting lesson but not both at the same time. Both concepts are higher-level thinking. Either could be presented first. I would probably introduce the “thinking” concept first just because I like it.
The pages are quite sturdy, so that young children can use these books without accidentally damaging the books, assuming the adult has given the child a lesson on carefully turning/opening pages in a book. That’s important since we want children to be successful as they use books and other activities. The illustrations are colorful, attractive, and quite realistic.
There are two other books in this series – Think Triangles! and Think Squares! These books would be enjoyed by children 3-6 years old.