A concept book that gives readers the choice of what to count.
Danielson’s analytical approach to the counting book begins with a photograph of shoes in a box and some guided options of what to count, such as the number of shoes (2) or the number of pairs (1). He consistently includes open questions to encourage independent, creative thinking. Following the example of the shoes, the phrase “How many?” appears on the left with a photograph on the right depicting various foods as they are prepared for cooking, usually three spreads per type of foodstuff. The mostly overhead angle and neat, intentional layout of the photographs makes for clear expectations when decoding the images. Each foodstuff starts simple (a bowl of grapefruits), then changes the items’ state somehow (halved grapefruits on a cutting board with new tools nearby), then ends on a more-complex image (the fruit juiced in a measuring cup with glasses and more whole fruit in the background). The penultimate set of photos shows a kitchen counter with assorted items from previous pages, serving as a culmination of sorts to the visual narrative. The ending pages encourage rereads and “new questions to wonder about,” such as the fairly abstract, “What numbers are missing?” After an initial read with a caregiver, young readers can easily go back and contemplate the pages independently to make new discoveries.
Innovative and intellectually stimulating. (Picture book. 3-8)