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TEETH, TAILS, & TENTACLES by Christopher Wormell Kirkus Star


An Animal Counting Book

by Christopher Wormell & illustrated by Christopher Wormell

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7624-2100-2
Publisher: Running Press

As the title indicates, here’s a variation on the traditional animal counting book: rather than counting multiples of animals, readers are encouraged to counts their parts. Luscious lino-cut prints on creamy, heavy stock take readers full circle, from one rhinoceros horn to 20 barnacles on one humpback whale, with such diversions as eight octopus tentacles, 15 leopard rosettes, and 19 crocodile teeth in between. The counting ranges from easy (five starfish arms) to challenging (17 zebra stripes), but heavy black lines and vivid colors help to prevent frustration and confusion. Each animal is placed in a square frame opposite the number and feature to be counted, one per spread; thumbnails at the back give more—but not too much for the audience—detail on the animals depicted. Purists will cavil that the starfish ought actually to be called a sea star, but that nit aside, this cloth-bound volume is a perfectly gorgeous piece of bookmaking. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)