One Is a Snail Ten Is a Crab
5 stars

One Is a Snail, Ten is a Crab

by April Pulley Sayre & Jeff Sayre
illustrated by Randy Cecil

This very cute counting book that's based on the simple but clever premise of counting the number of feet different animals have, alone or together. Starting with a snail (1 foot), the text moves to a boy (2 feet), a boy and a snail (3 feet), a dog (4 feet)... Then, after 10, the numbers move up in increments of 10 (to 100).

This book was written specifically to teach math (but is super cute nonetheless!)  It would be a great teaching resource for the following math topics:

  • counting -- loaded with opportunities to count (and even skip counting!)
  • +1 addition -- the first half is single digit numbers plus 1 (the snail)
  • +10 addition -- the second half is different 2 digit numbers plus 10 (the crab)
  • multiplication -- lots of "real world" applications of multiplication!  We recommend you have the kids count the legs in a given spread, then use multiplication on the same spread. They kids will definitely see how much faster multiplication is!

We agree with School Library Journal, who ended their review by saying "whether with those just beginning to count or children starting to multiply, this original and clever book will have wide appeal."  We LOVE this book -- Get it!  :)


Reading Levels

Interest Level:  Preschool - Gr. 2
Lexile Measure: 710L 

DRA Level: 16
Guided Reading: I  

The publisher states that this book is for Preschool - 2nd grade, but we've bumped it up to 3rd grade (since that's generally when multiplication is generally introduced, at least in most American math curriculum.)


See inside this cute book:

Below are sample pages from inside this adorable book.  We love the pictures!

Simple addition (+1): Here's an example of a page that shows simple addition (four legs on the dog + 1 leg on a snail = five legs)

One Is a Snail Ten Is a Crab


Adding tens (+10)
: Here's an example of one of the spreads that is great for teaching + 10 (since each crab has ten appendages):

One Is a Snail Ten Is a Crab


Multiplication
: Here's an example of one of the spreads that can be used to teach the benefits of multiplication (and of course, the above spread can as well):

One Is a Snail Ten Is a Crab


To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)

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Awards Won by this book

  • American Library Association Notable Children's Book 2004
  • Blue Ribbon Book Award
  • Bank Street College Best Books 2003
  • National Literacy Association WOW Award



Activity Idea for One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab

On her website, the author has three different activities to go with this book -- one simple worksheet, one intermediate worksheet, and one advanced worksheet. You can see a small version of one of the worksheets at right.  To get yourself a free copy, simply visit the author's site at:

One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab Activities

One Is a Snail Ten is a Crab activity worksheet


To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)


buy this book


Or check out more children's books for teaching addition.  Click to see them.

books for teaching addition