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CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™

CAMathories® has published a series of story books that is part of a comprehensive CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum that teaches mathematics in an enjoyable and engaging way using folktales from various parts of the world.  CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ offers a research-informed approach to traditional mathematics classroom pedagogy and at the same time supports diversity and inclusion for one world.

How to Use Our Books

The CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ Series of books are written in such a way as if our writers are “telling” the stories to the child, or children, in person. Enjoy reading the stories together. Chat together about the plot and the characters, and encourage the children to talk about their mathematical ideas. Touch and count objects and characters in the books. Once you have read a story with your children a few times, when you think they are ready, encourage them to retell the story on their own. That is how your children can learn and enjoy learning mathematics and language. You can find more learning tips here.
 

There are teaching plans, assessments and games that accompany the books. Please email info@camathories.com for more details.


Hope you enjoy our Folktale Mathematics™ and Happy CAMathoring!

New Title!

Series 4: One more and one less than 0 - 5

The Lazy Rabbit and the Tar Wolf

Cover illustration for book named The Lazy Rabbit and the Tar Wolf A Folktale from Cherokee CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ Series Reviewers: Lorna Ayton, Ph.D. Helen Bradford, Ph.D. Writer: Penny Coltman, MEd.Res. Illustrator: Adeeba, M. Des.

“Lazy Rabbit and the Tar Wolf” is a native American Cherokee tale. It is the second of three books in the fourth series of the CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum (One more and one less than 0-5) for 3-4 year olds. Bear, who is in charge, needs help to find water during a time of drought. He asks the animals around him to help him dig for water, but Lazy Rabbit is simply too lazy! Children will learn to keep adding one more up to 5.

Illustration of a landscape with the text: Many, many years ago there was a terrible drought throughout the Cherokee land. It did not rain for weeks and weeks. The ground was hard and dry and no grass grew.
An illustration of a fox, frog, bear, rabbit, deer and beaver. The text reads: "That's a good idea," agreed Bear. "Now who is a good digger?" Bear looked around the group and spotted a small furry creature with long ears and short fluffy tail. "What about you, Rabbit? he asked. "You dig burrows under the ground to live in." Now Rabbit was a rather lazy character, who did not like to work. "Oh no," he said with a little moan, "I am not feeling very well today."
An illustration of a bear and a rabbit. The text reads: the animals looked rather shocked, as rabbit would not offer to help, but because he was the leader, bear offered to start the digging. Bear dug in the hard, dry ground with his strong front legs and powerful claws, but he found it difficult to bend down to the ground because he was so big and his back started to ache. "I am digging all alone," said bear. "I need another animal to help me," he said. "I need one more animal to dig. Come on rabbit, come and help." "no thank you," said rabbit. "I would get my lovely white paws dirty."
An illustration of a bear and a deer digging. The text reads: "I'll help."said dear. "I will be one more digger. I can move rocks and stones out of the way with my antlers." So dear helped too. Now there was one more digger. How many animals were digging now? Bear was one, and deer was one more. One more than one is two.
An illustration of a bear and deer digging with a rabbit resting to the side. The text reads: After while even with Bear and Deer working hard, the hole in the ground was not very deep. "We need one more digger,' said Bear, "We need another helper. Come and help, Rabbit." "No, I don't want to dig," said that lazy Rabbit, "I might get soil in my eyes."
An illustration of a bear, deer, fox, frog, and beaver digging with a rabbit resting to the side. The text reads: So frog helped too. Now there was one more digger. How many animals were digging now? Bear, dear, fox, and beaver were four, and now frog was one more. One more than four is five.
An illustration of a rabbit, bear, deer, frog, fox, and beaver standing around a well. The text reads: Before long frog excitedly gave a very loud croak! That clever frog had found water. All the animals stood back to watch the well that they had dug finally fill with fresh clean water. Then they all took turns to drink. So, as it often happens, it was the smallest helper who made all the difference.
An illustration of a wolf and rabbit next to a well at night. The text reads: Fox, who was very clever, had a plan. He told the animals to make a wolf shape out of leaves and sticks. They coated the shape with tar which is black and very sticky. Then they put the Tar Wolf on the path to the well. When Rabbit came along at night, to take some more water, he saw the Tar Wolf blocking his way. He did not think it was a real wolf, but he was curious, so he reached out one of his lovely white paws to touch it. But as might you guess, Rabbit's paw stuck to the Tar Wolf.

Series 4: One more and one less than 0 - 5

The Enchanted Apple Tree

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“The Enchanted Apple Tree” is a folktale from France. It is the first of three books
in the fourth series of the CAMathories™ Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum (One
more and one less, 0-5) for 3-4-year-olds. An old woman is greeted one day by a
kind stranger who passes by her apple tree asking politely for an apple to eat. The
story focuses on one to five, introducing the idea of “one more” to children.

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Series 3: Record, recognize, and estimate 0 - 5

Jose and the Coconuts

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“José and the Coconuts” is the first of three books in the third series of the CAMathories™ Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum (Record, recognize, and estimate 0–5) for 3-4-year-olds. It is a folktale from the Philippines. It tells the story of an old man called Jose who cannot understand why he keeps losing his carefully gathered coconuts on his journey home! Children will learn tallies 1 to 5.

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Series 3: Record, recognize, and estimate 0 - 5

The Story of the Pigs

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“The Story of the Pigs” is the second of three books in the third series of the CAMathories™ Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum (Record, recognize, and estimate 0-5) for 3-4-year-olds. It is an African American folktale. It tells the tale of five piglets leaving home to make their own way in the world who must stay safe from Brer Wolf. Children will learn to confidently group items from one to five in this story.

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Series 3: Record, recognize, and estimate 0 - 5

Burro's Tortillas

Illustrated cover of the book Burro's Tortillas, a CAMathories Folktale Mathematics Series folktale from Mexico. Reviewers: Lorna Ayton, Ph.D and Penny Coltman, MEd. Res. Write: Helen Bradford, Ph.D. Illustrator: Adeeba

"Burro’s Tortillas” is the third book in the third series of the CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum (Record, recognize, and estimate 0 – 5) for 3-4 years old. Little Burro wants to make tortillas for himself and his friends to eat, but his idea does not quite go according to plan! Children will recognize the number zero in the story, as well as more practice counting 1-5.

An illustration of a donkey saying 'Mis Amigos!' in a field of corn
Once upon a time a Little Burro spotted a field of tall, ripe corn cobs, just ready to be picked and eaten. He smiled to himself. "I know what I can do with these." said Little Burro. "I can make tortillas for my tea!"
An illustration of a donkey, bobcat, coyote and jackrabbit in a field of corn
Little Burro called over to his friends again. "Mis amigos! My friends! Who will help me grind the corn so that we can make tortillas?" "Oh no," said bobcat. "I have things to do." "Oh no," said coyote. "I too have things to do." "Oh no." said iackrabbit. "I have zero. no time to help you." "Well then," sighed tired Little Burro. "I guess I will have to do it myself." And he did.
An illustration of a donkey cooking 5 tortillas in a griddle pan
Little Burro made five small balls of dough. Let's count them together! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. He carefully rolled each ball out into a flat tortilla shape. At last, he was ready to cook his tortillas! He found the griddle pan and heated it up on the stove.

Buy our new books directly from our online gift store and enjoy a 10% discount. Plus - free shipping when you spend over $20.

Front cover of Spanish edition of Burro's Tortillas

Click on the Spanish book cover above to buy

the Spanish edition on Amazon.com

Series 4: One more and one less 0 - 5

The Goodnight Gecko

Front cover of The Goodnight Gecko book, a CAMathories Folktale Mathematics Series folktale from Hawaii. Peer-reviewers: Dr. Lorn Ayton. Ph.D. Mrs Penny Coltman, MEd. Res. Writer: Helen Bradford. Ph.D. Illustrator: Adeeba

“The Goodnight Gecko” is a folktale from Hawaii. It is the third of three books in the fourth series of the CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ curriculum (One more and one less, 0-5) for 3-4 year-olds. A newborn baby gecko has five reasons why he is afraid to sleep at night. His kind mother gently helps him to overcome his fears. Children will learn the concept of one less from 5 to 0 as they follow the story.

An illustration of a baby gecko and his mother on the beach at night
" don't like the night," he said. His mother replied, "But you are a nocturnal gecko. You sleep by day in the hot sun and come to play at night." "No, I don't think I can do that," replied baby gecko. "I can count five reasons why not." "Oh? Please tell me what they are," said his mother. The baby gecko told her his five reasons for why he felt afraid. Can you count with him on the fingers of one hand?
An illustration of a baby gecko and his mother on a beach at night
"Can you see the light in the sky?" asked his mother. The baby gecko looked up, and he saw the huge bright circle in the sky and the glittering all around it. "That is the moon, our own special night light, and the stars that twinkle so that we can find our way." Well in that case, thought the baby gecko, that is one less reason to be afraid! He still had two good reasons left though.
An illustration of a baby gecko and his mother on the beach at night
"Goodnight moon and stars," he chirped as he went along. "Goodnight ocean, goodnight coconut trees." The baby gecko felt very tired. "Goodnight mother," he said. He snuggled up and sighed happily in the gecko nest, and do you know what? He fell asleep straightaway!

Buy our new books directly from our online gift store and enjoy a 10% discount. Plus - free shipping when you spend over $20.

Series 1: Count and Recite 1 to 5 (3-4 years old)

There are 3 books in this series.

 “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” (from Britain), “Paco and the Giant Chili Plant” (from Mexico), “5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon” (from China). 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears front cover. Part of the CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics™ series

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is a popular British folktale that tells how a young girl went into the Three Bears' Cottage and we learn about what she found there. Readers will be counting up to 3 with Goldilocks.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears front cover
Goldilocks and the Three Bears first page which reads 'A folktale from Britain. Authors: Lorna Ayton, Ph.D (Cantab), David Whitebread, Ph.D. Illustrator: Adeeba.' CAMathories logo 'Mathematical stories from historic Cambridge'.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears example page which reads 'One morning, the bears made three bowls of porridge. One. Two. Three. But it was too hot to eat! The bears decided to go for a walk in the forest to get some fresh air and wait for the porridge to cool down.'
Goldilocks and the Three Bears example image of three bears
Goldilocks and the Three Bears example page which reads 'She saw the table with three chairs. One. Two. Three. And on it were three bowls of porridge. One. Two. Three. Goldilocks wanted to sit at the table. Do you think she should sit in the very very big chair, the very very little chair or the chair that's just right? Goldilocks then ate some three spoonfuls of porridge. One. Two. Three. Yum, yum, yum.'
Goldilocks standing behind three chairs and a table with three bowls of porridge on it

Selected reviews from verified Amazon purchasers...

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ One. Two. Three. Four. Five Star
Verified Purchase

I bought this book for my 2 year old; A little younger than the recommended age but judging by the 4 times I was made to read through the story before I could put the book down and their proudly repeating "One, Two, Three", I think it's a hit.

Paco and the Giant Chili Plant

Front cover of Paco and the Giant Chili Plant

“Paco and the Giant Chili Plants” is a Mexican folktale about an adventure of a young Mexican boy, Paco, who received magical chili plant seeds and ultimately climbed up to the sky where he met a giant! Readers will count groups of up to 5 with Paco during his amazing adventure. This series helps readers to develop an awareness of the principle of ‘order irrelevance’ – we can count things in any order but the number stays the same.

Front cover of Paco and the Giant Chili Plant
First page from Paco and the Giant Chili Plant which says 'A folktale from Mexico. Author: Helen Bradford, Ph.D. Illustrator: Vishesh Mehra.' CAMathories logo.
Example page from Paco and the Giant Chili Plant which says '"I do have these five magic chili seeds." "Why are they magic?" asked Paco. "Plant them and see!" said the old man. And with that, he handed Paco a small bag, gave him a wink with his eye, and took the cow away with him.' There is a picture of Paco and the old man.
Example page from Paco and the Giant Chili Plant which says 'Paco hurried home and planted the seeds in the field behind his house. The sun shone. Paco watered the seeds.' There is a drawing of Paco planting seeds under a sun.
Example page from Paco and the Giant Chili Plant which says 'And he waited for the chili plants to grow. He waited and he waited and he waited. Nada, nada, nothing.' There is a drawing of the seeds under the earth and sun.
Example page from Paco and the Giant Chili Plant with a drawing of a man standing on clouds.

From our readers...

"An easy read for K-5 to comprehend, and be able to retell the story.

I loved the hidden aspects of the chili-pepper effects on the giant.  Overall a nice twist. 

Lilian R. Ferguson, Purchaser from CAMathories® Gift Store, Child Advocacy and Policy, MA.,

New Jersey, USA. 

Front cover of Spanish Edition of Paco and the Giant Chile

Click on the Spanish book cover above to buy

the Spanish edition on Amazon.com

5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon

Front cover of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon.

In “5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon”, a group of playful and funny little monkeys made a silly mistake. They thought that the moon had fallen into a well and then they tried to catch the moon! Readers count 1 to 5 and recite the string of number words to five. This series helps readers to develop an awareness of the principle of ‘order irrelevance’ – we can count things in any order but the number stays the same. 

Front cover of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon.
First page of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon which says 'A folktale from China. Author: Penny Coltman, MEd. Res. (Cantab) Illustrator: Sally Tsoi.' CAMathories logo.
Example page of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon which says 'The youngest monkey ran off on his own and found a deep well of water. He leaned over the side of the well and gazed at the water far below him. (This was quite a dangerous thing to do! He could so easily have fallen in!) All of a sudden, the youngest monkey spotted something and called out to his brothers.
Example page of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon with a drawing of five monkeys looking at a moon in a well.
Example page of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon which says '"Let me hold onto your arms," suggested the next monkey. "Then I might be able to rescue the moon." He wrapped his tail around the oldest monkey's stretched out arms and dangled into the well. He stretched and stretched as far as he could, but he could not reach the moon in the water.'
Example page of 5 Little Monkeys Catching the Moon with a drawing of two monkeys hanging from a tree trying to reach into a well.

Series 2: Keeping Count 1 to 5 (3-4 years old)

This series help readers to develop an awareness of the "stable order" principle - we always say the numbers in same stable order. The series also help students to further practice counting things that are not objects, such as actions or movement, and things that can not be seen, for example, sounds.

There are 3 books in this series.

"The Story of the Twin Girls" (from India), "The Story of the Leopard's Spots" (from Ghana, Africa) and "The Kind Fox and the Little Cat" (from Ukraine).

The Story of the Twin Sisters

Book cover for The Story of the Twin Sisters by Helen Bradford Ph.D. Adeebo with a drawing of two girls

"The Story of the Twin Sisters" is based on a folktale from India. It tells the story of Haldi and Adarak, twin sisters with very different approaches to helping their grandparents. The book will support children to learn to confidently recount numbers to five. They will understand that five objects will always remain five objects, no matter how they are organised, as Haldi journeys from her home to her grandparents' and back again.

One day, Haldi suggested to Adarak that they visit their grandparents. "We haven't seen them for so long." said Haldi. "We could take them some gifts." "You go," said Adarak, grumpily. "They live so far away. I will stay here and go another time."
So Haldi wrapped five gifts for her grandparents. She wrapped each gift in brown paper to make one, two, three, four, five parcels. She could not find a basket to put them in, so she tucked them under her arm, and began the long journey to her grandparents' home. What do you think the gift inside each parcel is?
Drawing of two girls. One girl is smiling with a thought bubble saying "5 miles to grandparents' home". The other has her arms folded in disagreement.
Drawing of five wrapped presents.
Along the way, she came upon an oven, full of baking loaves. "Little girl! Little girl!" called out the loaves. "Please take us out of here! Do take us out or we shall be burnt!" Now Haldi was a kind, thoughtful girl. She stopped carefully put down her five parcels one at a time and took out all the loaves of bread from the oven. "Thank you," sighed the five loaves. "That feels much better " "Your're welcome," said Haldi.
A drawing of girl by an oven. The oven contains 5 loaves, one of which is saying "help".
She counted the loaves, one, two, three, four, five. Then she picked up her parcels, one, two, three, four five, and went on her way.
A drawing of a girl with five loaves and five presents

The Kind Fox and the Little Cat

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In this story, a kind fox helps a little cat who has nowhere to live. Some animals think their new little cat neighbour is fierce and plan a trap to catch her. They prepare a delicious feast for the kind fox and the little cat aiming to trick them. Practice counting to five as you learn how the two friends manage to scare off the other animals and enjoy the feast all to themselves!

Once upon a time there was a little black cat. She lived with an old farmer on a farm near a wood.
But the little cat started to get older and she could not run quite so fast. When she chased the mice they ran faster than her, and when she pounced on them they slipped away and laughed. One day she only caught two mice. Which 2 mice do you think she caught? Count as you touch them.
A farmer and black cat in front of a house in the forest
A black cat surrounded by laughing mice
The little cat told the fox her story. "Don't worry," he said. "I will help you." And that good, caring fox built a hut with a garden for himself and the little cat to live in.
A black cat and a fox in front of a hut.
The wild boar then chased some picnickers. They had a plate of colourful pysansky eggs. These are hard boiled eggs that have been beautifully decorated. The wild boar stole five of the delicious eggs. "Those are very pretty eggs," he said. "We'll have one each at our feast." What a wicked wild boar he was to take those eggs! Choose five eggs for the wild boar to pick up. Count them as you touch them. The wild boar put the five eggs in a bag to take to the feast.
A wild boar and a picnic table with a bowl of eggs on it

Selected reviews from verified Amazon purchasers...

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Ukrainian folktale about struggle and kindness

that teaches children to count in a fun way
Verified Purchase

This Ukrainian folktale is about losing one's home, kindness, culture and traditions, and, of course, counting! There is a conflict in the story, but it is presented on the children's level. It is told with humor and the sense of hope. In the end, the kindness defeats the evil, which is very important in the time of war when many Ukrainian families have lost their homes and had to build new lives in new countries. Children, who read this story, learn about Ukraine, the country that has been in the news since February 24th 2022. They learn about its beautiful landscapes and unique traditions, and even learn a word in Ukrainian language. All the while, this book present many opportunities to count from 1 to 5. I highly recommend it.

Click on the Ukrainian book cover above to buy

the Ukrainian edition on Amazon.com

Each book also comes with its lesson (teaching) plan. Each lesson plan includes music and rhymes,

detailed instructions to teach mathematics based on the book, and art and craft activity templates.

Lesson plans are also available for purchase. 

If you like our books and pedagogy and want to learn about our curriculum and lessons plans, 

please email info@camathories.com 


See below for feedback from preschool teachers who have used CAMathories® Lesson Plans. 

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Feedback of CAMathories® Folktale Mathematics
Lesson Plan

"Your lesson plan, weaves together math, literature, and social studies creatively and thoughtfully. While interconnecting subjects in your approach to education. 

It was not only fun, but it's sure to engage preschoolers. The addition of music and movement added another layer of relatedness. 

Our children loved the music and singalongs the most. The surprising twist in the story's ending, is not only intriguing, but also captures students' attention and promotes critical thinking as they go over its moral outcome. 

The attention to detail in the lesson plan, engagement strategies, and inclusivity considerations make this plan stand out nicely. A good addition for any classroom."

Ms Charlyne Emmanuel, preschool teacher with 10+ years teaching experience, New Jersey, USA

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