Barad-Cutler offers an eye-catching introduction to counting forward and backward.
The design of this novelty offering features a large window cut from its center, with five happy pandas peering in from the edges, their number and arrangement shifting as the pages are turned. Upon opening the book, one of the five pandas is moved over to the left-hand page, which reads: “1 hungry panda eats something yummy.” This leaves four pandas on the right-hand page, pictured above text that reads: “But 4 hungry pandas still need to fill their tummies!” This formula—pandas increasing on the left and decreasing on the right to the rhythm of short, snappy couplets referencing the number of pandas in each scene—zips along until the final spread. Here, the left-hand page shows all five pandas, as expected, reading “5 hungry pandas eat a yummy snack,” while the right-hand page shows only an empty window above the words, “Now 5 happy pandas are ready for their nap.” Aside from the problematic concluding rhyme, a bit of confusion is introduced when the final page mentions five pandas yet pictures none. The illustrations are cheery and bright and the black print, appropriately large and bold with the numerals printed in color.
A generally pleasing primer on simple counting concepts for toddlers and preschoolers. (Board book. 2-4)