Numerical Street

Book by Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell 2015

‘Starting with 1, begin in the park: Count up the street and get home before dark.’

From the creators of the bestselling Alphabetical Sydney comes a counting book set in a bright and quirky streetscape where there’s always something new to find.

I am so incredibly grateful to have collaborated with Joel Brian and Carly White. Thank you for your time and enthusiasm!

Engaging our readers:

This book provides the perfect opportunity for readers to:

  • Explore the origin and meaning of the word numerical
  • Activate prior knowledge by going on a walk in the local area. Sketch, take photos or short videos
  • Use clues on the front cover to name the dog?
  • Talk about why the word ‘look’ in on the title page. What is the purpose?
  • Discuss: On page one why does the person only have one shoe on?
  • Wonder: On page one, why is the dog an outline?
  • Search for the adjectives on page 2. Draw or write objects that matches the description
  • Examine the pictures to make predictions
  • Make connections to their own experiences
  • Make connections to other texts that involve shopping – “Don’t’ Forget the Bacon” by Pat Hutchins
  • Research other books by the same author and illustrator
  • Investigate the use of the hyphen. Begin on page 5 at the Hair Stylists
  • Define and add the mathematical terms to the classroom word wall
  • Sort words from the book according to the number of syllables
  • Explore rhyming words. Create a poster, video or mural to make the rhyming pairs visible.
  • Read the signs in the book and then search for signs in the community
  • Explore compound words. Begin on page 3 at the Auto Repairs

Inspiring our writers:

This book inspires writers to:

  • Write their own mathematical story about your street
  • Write a description of one the stores
  • Point around the pictures and talk about the writing ideas from the book
  • Recount a personal experience
  • Innovate the story
  • Make signs to communicate to an audience
  • The book needs in one word on the last page. Borrow this idea for your own writing.
  • Discuss the illustration style and  transfer to their own publishing
  • Write a conversation that would happen at one of the locations in the book
  • Create an advertising jingle for one of the businesses
  • Investigate the binding of the book (numbers presented in the spine)

Motivating our mathematicians:

This is a great book for mathematicians to:

  • Wonder why the numbers are 1-12
  • Make collections of 1 -12 using a range of materials. Investigate page 14 to count some collections

  • Use colourful tape to make lines to make an image similar to the end papers. Measure the length and angles
  • Search for numbers throughout the book
  • Investigate the shapes on the tool board at the Auto Repairs on page 4
  • There is a two hour parking sign on page 4. What time can you park and collect your car?
  • Look for the clock on page 6 at the Hair Stylist. What do you do at this time of the day?
  • Investigate the costs of getting hair cuts to work out a yearly budget
  • Count the mathematical terms
  • Subitise the fish and sea life in the tropical fish tanks on page 20
  • Estimate and calculate a 10% discount as advertised on page 20
  • How many eyes would there be on page 20? What strategy would you use?
  • Explore ordinal numbers
  • Create number lines
  • Investigate simple fractions
  • Collect keys or other objects to classify by size
  • Identify, count, and sketch shapes in the book
  • Explore am and pm time on page 24
  • Check out the shoes at the shoe repairers and create a class graph
  • Explore 24 to springboard a investigation about different lengths of shoe laces
  • Create patterns as presented in the Upholstery Store on page 16
  • Search to find symmetrical images in the book. Create your own image
  • Search for money amounts in the book and write facts for the money amounts

Provoking curiousty and stimulating creativity:

  • What hums? How did the author use this word on page 3?
  • What flowers are mentioned in the book? Start at page 5. What flowers grow near you? What do you know? What do you need to find out?
  • Explore page 24 and tinker with keys and locks
  • Create a trophy using a range of materials and write a plague to present your trophy
  • Check out the shoes at the shoe repairers. Investigate different shoes related to occasions and cultures.
  • Plan, create and use a classroom shop
  • Create a currency for your shop
  • Photograph and sketch the numbers on the letter boxes in your street
  • Make a map and order the places in the story
  • Create a diorama of a store to model a collection


  • Visit the local shop to purchase and prepare a snack.
  • research by inviting people to your classroom that work in the different stores. What location would you like to work at? what skills and assets do you need?
  • Make a soundscape to match the scenes. What does it sound like at the Chemist?
  • Create signs for your classroom or school

Check out this book on Booktopia

Enjoy exploring your local community with your learners!


Andrea Hillbrick