15 Counting Books for Special Thinkers


A few days ago, I posted about my favorite hands on counting activities for the classroom. Since I teach students with special needs, a lot of them can take a while to really master counting, which is why I like to use a lot of different types of resources and activities for practicing until they have it mastered. One tried and true thing I have always used to keep kiddos engaged is use picture books. Below are my top 15 counting books for using throughout the beginning of the year for my kiddos that are learning this skill. There are SO many different counting books available, and really you could find one for any type of interest, but the ones below are definitely great if you are just starting this collection and you need some solid choices!

With these books, I typically read them with a student or small group of students with manipulatives or PECS so they can interact with the book.


Race Car Count by Rebecca Dotlich: Every boy in my classroom is obsessed with cars. Cue this book!

Feast for 10 by Catherine Falwell: This is such a favorite of mine. A family goes grocery shopping for different foods to make a feast.

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang: Not just for bedtime!


Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews: Amazing classic that you can use manipulatives with while you read together

Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert: Numbers, colors, and even some adding if you want! LOVE the illustations in this one.

Ten Apples Up On Top! by Dr. Seuss: Classic for the beginning of the year, so many activities to do with this one!


Roll Over: A Counting Song:  Another classic must have for your collection!

Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd: This book teaches counting and colors!

Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow: Necessary!


Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh: This one always cracks my kiddos up while we drop little mice into a jar.

Doggies by Sandra Boynton : I am obsessed with Sandra Boynton books. They are so simple and perfect for my special students!

Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman: Bear counts lots of different things!


1, 2, 3 TO THE ZOO by Eric Carle: Eric Carle never disappoints. Perfect for sequencing and you can use it again during your zoo unit.

1 hunter by Pat Hutchins: Follow along with all the different animals the hunter passes by. Very simple text and perfect for counting practice, as the animals in the illustrations are perfectly lined up on each page.

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle: I also use the mini rubber duckies with this book for lots of counting fun.


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