Although the fauna presented in this simple counting book are not uniquely Canadian, the youngest animal lovers in Canada and beyond will appreciate the opportunity to practice a new skill.
An increasing number of collage animals (bighorn sheep, grebes, mantids, owls, snakes, sea horses, plovers, lemmings, salmon, and ladybugs) are the focus of each of 10 double-page spreads. A single action characteristic of each creature is identified. Each page includes both the cardinal number (spelled out) and the numeral. A final glossary spread repeats this information and provides one or two sentences of additional information about each critter pictured. Although Valério includes several fish, birds, a rodent, a snake, and insects common in Canada, none are exclusive to Canada, so the subtitular declaration that this is a “Canadian Wildlife 123” may limit its perceived relevance to the rest of North America, which would be a shame. The lovely, uncluttered illustrations and unusual selection of creatures featured are what set this counting book apart and make it a worthy import. Each cut-paper critter exemplifies the essential features of that species, while each individual is also distinctly discernible. There is nothing about the clean design that might confuse young children. And one to 10 is just enough for toddlers to count.
A gentle charmer ideal for the youngest animal lovers, no matter which side of the border they inhabit. (Picture book. 2-5)