A gorgeous counting book that is as artful as it is clever. The sweeping tail of a kite loops into a 2, a swan's neck and its reflection form a glorious 3. There are two particularly lovely figures in stone, one a series of stones in a Japanese garden that comprise a 7, and two cobbles in an old path in Sweden that resemble an 8. The photographed objects that form the number shapes have a light spontaneous feeling, found objects with a natural beauty rather than the lumbered, overly studied images seen in other books on counting and geometric shapes. Only twice in 20 pictures--with a cramped shot of a bicycle shadow to achieve a 5 and a posed shot of a peeled banana for a 3--do the images feel even slightly forced. A full set of numbers appears on each page in a handsome typeface, with the number in question in bold. The list of image sources at the end of the book offers a hint of Alda's enthusiasm and sense of discovery surrounding each picture; children will be looking for numbers everywhere they go.