Friendly dogs from an animal shelter are the smiling stars of this counting book, progressing from one dog to 10 and then counting back down from 10 to one.
The patterned, rhyming text includes the consecutive numeral for each group of dogs along with a short, descriptive phrase. The groups of canines include many varieties, including “8…teeny-tiny” lap dogs and “10…slobbering hounds,” all waiting to be found by new owners. After the 10 groups are introduced, the counting structure is reversed, and the same canine cohorts reappear in order as they meet their new owners. The human characters are of different ethnicities, occupations, and ages, including a white girl who uses a wheelchair. The rhyme scheme uses an unusual aaba pattern, which works for the text when considered as a whole but is somewhat awkward at first reading when separated into phrases across page turns. Pleasant illustrations with thick, black outlines create cheerful personalities for both human and canine characters, except for the group of five dogs, who are “wimpery, whiny” before adoption but “smiling sweet” after finding five children to take them home. A cleverly constructed final spread shows all the dogs and their owners in their homes, peeking out of house, apartment, and fire station windows, with the relevant numerals for each group now serving as house or apartment numbers.
An unusual counting book that goes beyond the basics, providing opportunities to reread and recount in different ways. (Picture book. 2-5)