Hop on Top, Mouse! / Too Heavy Elephant!

Hop on Top, Mouse!
Too Heavy Elephant!

Tony Neal
Oxford Children’s Books

The ideal way for young children to develop mathematical concepts about weight, height etc is through practical experience. Fun books such as these two help the process too, especially when there’s a simple story with vital vocabulary, and funny pictures by Tony Neal to enjoy with a supportive adult.

Hop on Top, Mouse! starts with a cupcake atop a tall cupboard and a tiny mouse looking longingly up at the object of its desire. Too high! says the text. (presumably the mouse’s frustrated comment). he calls on Monkey for help but the cupboard is too slippery for Monkey to climb. They call Rabbit to assist; his hopping skills are pretty good but even so all three are just ‘too short’. So what about a bit of co-operation. First one on top of another, but the cake is still too far away.

Happily though several other creatures are ready and willing to assist in operation cupcake. What will be the outcome – disaster or satisfaction all round?

The episode is followed by some activities for children to try both at home and out walking, and some basic key vocabulary.

The same cast of characters participate in Too Heavy Elephant! along with the titular pachyderm. Mouse and Elephant are keen to play together on a seesaw but inevitably the latter is too heavy but Mouse isn’t giving up that easily; he’s finding another way to get onto the plank but even then he’s just too light and elephant too heavy to operate said seesaw. I wonder how many of Mouse’s animal friends it will take to find the balance …

Co-operation reigns … The friends haven’t reckoned on the appearance of Daddy Elephant however …

Again the funny story is followed by some ‘heavy and light’, and weight comparing activities, and some basic vocabulary.

A thoroughly enjoyable way to support mathematical learning at home or in an early years setting.

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