A one-to-10 counting book featuring a cast of active pigeons.
“One bright and sunny morning, ten pigeons” sit on a wire when along come some bees and throw them all into a tizzy. A handful of the pigeons take off—readers can count their tails in the margins of the pages—so “OK. Let’s try that again. Um, ten minus six is… …four.” Readers can see right on the wire there that if six pigeons fly off, that leaves four—math at its most accessible. Well, there are four until one finds a sandwich that lures four of the dispersed birds to return. That adds up to eight. And there they are, that now gray and cloudy morning, when it starts to rain and six pigeons fly away to seek shelter. Again, readers can count the birds to arrive at the new number, or they can work the equation that is provided: “Let's see…eight minus six is…”? On the counting game goes via interruptions into the twilight, when the narrator gives up—these pigeons won’t stay still long enough to introduce them—until it comes time to go to bed and end the story. Citro’s exasperated text works hand in glove with Watson’s comical birds to make this counting game a joy rather than a task. The narrative text expresses equations in words, and corresponding number sentences are tucked into the scenes.
Good fun for early counters. (Picture book. 4-8)