Lifting flaps elevates this counting book above traditional fare.
The large, die-cut flaps extend the visual layout as animals count up from one to 10. While the text simply describes each animal, the striking digital designs and the repetitive sequence shine. Each animal type appears twice, once with the number-shaped flap closed and again, plus one, when it opens: “3 tall giraffes / 4 tall giraffes // 4 swimming hippos / 5 swimming hippos.” The second iteration of the text diminishes, like an echo, on the page. Each number-flap deftly conceals the additional animal until the flap is removed. A few animals peek out from behind the confines of their digit; the baby penguin hides behind the seven, and the bear creeps out from behind the five. The animals have surprisingly intent, googly eyes that give them a friendly air; even the "wriggly snake" looks approachable, with his smiling mouth and anthropomorphic eyes. Companion Animal Spots and Stripes shares the same large format, alternating between stripes and spots in a steady pattern as it builds.
The seamless interactivity merits two thumbs up. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)