Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Atinuke’s “Baby Goes to Market”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Baby Goes to Market.” Many public libraries have this book. This book is a Mathical Award winner.

Reading guide

About the Story

Baby is tied to Mama’s back in an outdoor African market. A seller gives Baby 6 bananas without Mama knowing. Baby eats 1 and puts 5 in the basket on Mama’s head. Other sellers give Baby food, too. Each time, Baby eats 1 piece of food and puts the rest in Mama’s basket. At the end, Mama is surprised to find so much food in her basket! She decides to go home and feed Baby, who, she thinks, must be very hungry.

Mother holds her baby on her back while the baby grabs bananas. Illustration from “Baby Goes to Market.”

Words to Learn

MATH WORDS
five, four, three, two, one

OTHER WORDS
market, curious, seller, crowded, grins, palm oil, chin-chin biscuits (a fried pastry, a little like a small donut), chili peppers

Mother and baby smile as they look at food. Illustration from “Baby Goes to Market.”

About the Math

As Baby and Mama stroll through the market, your child can learn:
To count the treats that Baby gets and the treats
that end up in the basket.

  • Taking away one treat reduces the total number
    of treats by one.
  • The numbers of treats are in reverse order:
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
  • There are many beautiful patterns on the clothes
    people wear in the market.

Math Talk During Reading

  • COUNT THE TREATS
    How many oranges did the seller give Baby? How many did Baby eat? How many oranges did Baby put in Mama’s basket?
  • ADD ONE TO FIND THE TOTAL
    Mama has lots of things in her basket—five bananas and a yam. How many things are in Mama’s basket altogether?
  • EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED
    The seller gave Baby 5 oranges. But there are only 4 oranges in Mama’s basket. Why does she have only 4? What happened

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • PLAY GROCERY STORE
    Give your child some play food (or real food) to “sell” to you. You “buy” 5 apples. Cover them. Take one away as your child watches. Ask, “How many are left under the cover?”
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