When Number Three feels bored with being a number, he seeks other uses for his highly distinguishable shape.
The language is direct, even edgy, but with child-accessible vocabulary and concepts. The first two double-page spreads, accompanied by engaging, colorful artwork, present the dilemma: “Do you know Number Three? I mean, do you really know Number Three? / You might think you do. After all, numbers are everywhere. But sometimes numbers get bored and want to do something else. And they really wish they could just quit being a number for a while. / That was exactly what Number Three did one day.” In tune with the needs of early readers, Number Three is spelled out in the text but is pictured as a large, often three-dimensional Arabic numeral. The illustrations invite children to find the familiar shape as Number Three tries such jobs as being a camel’s humps and a pair of eyeglasses. When he thinks he has found his ultimate calling as a sculpture, there is plenty of humor in the drawings depicting the end of that honeymoon, including the degradations inflicted by weather, pigeons, and dogs. Funniest of all is the state of chaos into which Number Three’s companion numbers have been thrown, until the inevitable, happy conclusion.
An acclaimed cartoonist in the adult world has created a solid hit for children. (Picture book. 3-7)