AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODS by Cynthia Cotten

AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODS

A Counting Book
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5

KIRKUS REVIEW

Cartwright’s (Going Home, not reviewed, etc.) mossy greens, golden yellows, and smoky blues evoke a late summer in the woods as numbered sets of forest animals go about their business. A simple pattern emerges as Cotten (Snow Ponies, 2001) follows a three-line rhyme with a refrain counting up to ten: “At the edge of the woods, the treetops sway. / The sunrise brings a brand-new day. / Two spotted fawns come out to play / at the edge of the deep, dark woods.” The rhyming provides a comforting rhythm to the counting, but there are no surprises here. The refrain “at the edge of the deep, dark woods” grows stale and the animals play predictable roles. A “big burly” bear breaks things up a bit as it lumbers onto the last spread causing all the other animals to hide, but ultimately lizards lounge, sparrows perch, and ants march along just as they’re expected to. On the left side of several spreads, some of the animals are pictured as spot art against a white background. The rest of the creatures on the right side are pictured in a forest scene. The technique lends variety, but makes it more challenging to add up the numbers. Cartwright’s lush and boldly crafted images seem to demand a more complex story, while the sing-songy rhyming and the traditional animal characters would fit more comfortably in a younger board format. Still, the peaceful forest crew and comforting color palette make this a soothing read, if not a great counting tool. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8050-6354-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2002




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