DOG NUMBER 1, DOG NUMBER 10 by Ami Rubinger


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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With scores of counting books available, a new one must be inventive, appealing and stand out from titles by such standbys as Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry. Even with an invitation to readers to participate, this rhyming canine counter doesn’t quite measure up. Each of the 10 dogs has a name and a paper number taped to it. The sentence that introduces each one ends with an ellipsis that invites readers to contribute the rhyming response. “Playing chase is so much fun! / My name’s Rover. I’m dog number...” (one); “I love lying around with nothing to do. / Call me Lucy, I’m dog number...” (two). It takes a few pages to "get" the device because the placement of the dogs varies. Lucy, for instance, lolls on the left-hand side of the spread, while another dog (Rover, in the distance) romps above her name on the right. (Dogs three through 10 are arranged with greater clarity, but kids will already be disoriented by the time they get to them.) Children accustomed to other complete-the-phrase books will recognize the ellipsis as a prompt to find the answer on the next page, but that is not the case here. The goofy-looking, Technicolor dogs have broad shapes and ping-pong–ball eyes. Visually, it's got plenty of pizzazz, but other counting books do the job better; this one just doesn’t wag its tail. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 26th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7892-1066-1
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: Abbeville Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2011


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