Numbers are trapped in ice and must be rescued from a frozen fate in a counting book that encourages interaction with each page.
"We're numb. B-B-B-BRRRRR!" announce 1, 2, 3, and 4, all surrounded by ice, "Unless we warm up, time stops!" By counting and tracing the numbers on the page, readers free up the digits as the book's color scheme changes, modulating from deep purples and blues to lush green and finally to tropical oranges and fiery reds. By the time the number 4 is lounging in the sun on a baking red background (that unfortunately may call to mind hell, albeit one with a chaise longue), the numbers have presumably been saved by the power of engaged enumeration. The visual flourishes, such as tiger-striped digits hidden in foliage, sometimes outpace the urgent narration, giving texture to text that resembles the urgent prompts of a Dora the Explorer episode ("Keep counting—it's working!"). The clever use of color gradation is what makes the book stand out most, evoking the passage of time and world travel even as the text never expressly mentions seasons or places. The hues are evocative enough to make impressionable readers shiver and sweat in the same sitting.
Though the hortatory text is a bit much, the illustrations make this book one worth counting. (Picture book. 2-5)