Poke-A-Dot: Who’s in the Ocean?

Reviewed by Brittany

What it is: [Amazon product description] Once you start popping, there’s just no stopping! These fun, tactile books help kids learn to count–without losing count! Raised buttons pop in on every page so kids can press them as they count in this casebound book with ten spreads and 30 poke-able dots. Out in the ocean where the big waves roar, tons of different creatures come out to explore. Kids can count them all as they read along with this bouncing rhyme. With beautiful, colorful illustrations and irresistible click-to-count buttons, kids will love learning their numbers as they discover who lives in the ocean.

Brain BenefitsLogic and Reasoning – Children must make a plan to get all the dots and understand that they have to start at the beginning and work their way through. There is no skipping around the book as the dots on one page must be popped in order to move to the next page.

Short term memory – Remember which ones were already popped

Long term memory – Remember which number on the number line comes next  to predict the next page

Attention – children need to listen to the story and number of animals on the page to make sure the number of buttons matches the number of animals.  If they don’t pay attention and get all the buttons, then the next page won’t be ready to pop.

Visual Processing – visually seeing the numbers on each page and then the corresponding number of animals and each page turned leads to a smaller number and smaller number of animals

Auditory Processing – Each page has a couple of rhyming sentences that match the animal on that page. The rhymes always start with the same first clause. This helps with recognition of similar sounds and also prepares children to make predictions.

What I love: I love the interactive nature of this book. My son received this book shortly after his first birthday and at 18 months old, he still loves this book. It’s always the first one he picks out of his library. I have seen a huge improvement in his ability to make a plan and track the buttons he has already pushed. His attention span for the book has also increased and he’s able to get through the entire book without distraction. He hasn’t picked up on the concept of counting or that the number of buttons (and therefore the number of animals) decreases with each page, but I know that in time this book will be really helpful with counting backwards.

What I would change
: This book is HEAVY!! It is not travel friendly, which is a bummer because it’s so interactive and quiet that it would be great to bring on an airplane trip. I also think it would be better if the numbers increased in size as you move through the book rather than decrease. It seems easier for a toddler to start at 1 and end at 10 instead of counting backwards.


The bulkiness and cost and somewhat drab illustrations lower my rating a bit, but the cognitive benefits and the fact that this book is selected to read every single day make it a must buy for me. I also believe in the longevity of this book. I could see a preschooler or prekinder child enjoying it as much (or more) than my toddler.

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