I still remember how much hard work it was for my kids to learn to read, with all the painfully slow sounding-out of words one-by-one. It sometimes seems that kids are so busy trying to figure out what the letters say that they can’t even concentrate on the story.

Want to spice up their learning-to-read time and make things a lot more fun? Check out this latest book from Amy Krouse Rosenthal that is part book, part game, and totally clever.

Wumbers, by the author of our favorite Duck! Rabbit!, among others, uses words cre8ed by numbers, making it a brain-teaser of sorts.

Each page features colorful illustrations with a couple of word bubbles that mix words and numbers in delightfully silly ways. The book clearly borrows a lot from William Steig’s ’68 classic C D B! which used letters instead of numbers to tell a story — in fact, the authors acknowledge as much in the book.

Keep in mind that this isn’t really a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, each two-page spread includes a “wumbered” sentence or two along with an illustration. I imagine that this makes it a bit more manageable for very early readers who may not be able to tackle a full story book on their own.

I found that some explanation was needed for a couple of “wumbers,” as in the “Flying 10ies” caption, considering “tennies” isn’t really used much anymore in our parts.

But overall, Wumbers does make the sometimes-chore of sounding out words a lot more fun, even for those of us who are 4midable readers in10t on forging out book time on our own.

Grab a copy ofWumbers from our affili8, Amazon or your local indie bookstore.