The book mostly shows rectangles of Hershey chocolates set up in arrays--Matt had the girls do the same along with the book, then threw in some new ones for them:
They also did multiplication with grouping:
As you can see, they more or less got the idea!
Of course, we'll be doing the arrays and grouping with tons of other less edible stuff, too--pattern blocks, Cuisenaire rods, coins, counters, stones, and whatever else we find--but the kiddos were just as thrilled as I'd thought they'd be to play around with candy. I was also thrilled to note that they really didn't eat very much of it--certainly not an entire Hershey bar each, and I think that there were a total of three Hershey bars in play during the project. So much of the joy of candy is simply the access to it--PLAYING with CANDY!!!--and also the pleasure of touching it, smelling it, looking at it, and manipulating it into different patterns. Tasting the candy is pretty great, as well, but when you're getting so much stimulation from all those other aspects, then I think that it takes a great deal away from the need to just shove it in your mouth and keep shoving it in.