Count on other retellings for the fractured–fairy-tale shelf.

THE THREE LITTLE PIGS COUNT TO 100

The three little pigs take on math.

As the title indicates, the story overtly embeds math content in its text. First, one mother pig cuts two apples in half so that she and her three children can have a snack, but since they’re still hungry, she sends them off to seek their fortunes. The first two pigs acquire their respective, traditional building materials, with the text identifying five bundles of hay to build a cylindrical hut and six sticks (and some sheets) to build a conical teepee. The wolf’s huffing and puffing gives both pigs time to escape, and it also apparently slows him down enough that the third pig has time to reject various materials—seven baskets of wool, eight bags of leaves, nine boxes of rose petals, 10 pails of peanuts—until he finds someone (the Gingerbread Man) selling bricks and buys 100 for a bunkerlike house in the shape of a cube. After failing to huff and puff this house down, the wolf becomes a vegetarian, and the pigs gather in the brick house for dinner. A few extra pages prompt readers to revisit the shapes and numbers from the story, but these feel superfluous to the book rather than integral and enriching. Digital art cleverly incorporates metafictive references but is otherwise undistinguished.

Count on other retellings for the fractured–fairy-tale shelf. (Math picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7901-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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A cozy read for bibliophiles.

SNOWMAN'S STORY

With echoes of “Frosty the Snowman” in the background, a snowman’s storybook within this wordless book delivers a comic wintertime romp.

Woodland creatures build a snowman, giving him a green book as a finishing touch. This addition comes right after a windswept top hat lands on his head, vivifying him à la Frosty. Hidden inside is a rabbit (it is a magic hat, after all); attentive readers will have seen the hat first on frontmatter pages and then with the bunny in the double-page spreads before the early ones devoted to the snowman’s construction. The snowman reads his book aloud to the animals, with the rabbit surreptitiously listening in, its ears poking out of the top of the hat. When the others all drift off to sleep, the bunny emerges and steals away with the book. A chase ensues across snowy terrain and through a series of pages (perhaps a few too many for good pacing) replete with comic-style panels. When the animals and snowman confront the rabbit in its tree-hollow home, its motivation for book thievery is revealed: This bunny has a family and wishes to share the story with its children. All’s well that ends well, and the animals convene (safely outside and away from the rabbit family’s crackling fireplace) to read together.

A cozy read for bibliophiles. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4787-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat.

ONE MORE DINO ON THE FLOOR

Dinos that love to move and groove get children counting from one to 10—and perhaps moving to the beat.

Beginning with a solo bop by a female dino (she has eyelashes, doncha know), the dinosaur dance party begins. Each turn of the page adds another dino and a change in the dance genre: waltz, country line dancing, disco, limbo, square dancing, hip-hop, and swing. As the party would be incomplete without the moonwalk, the T. Rex does the honors…and once they are beyond their initial panic at his appearance, the onlookers cheer wildly. The repeated refrain on each spread allows for audience participation, though it doesn’t easily trip off the tongue: “They hear a swish. / What’s this? / One more? / One more dino on the floor.” Some of the prehistoric beasts are easily identifiable—pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, triceratops—but others will be known only to the dino-obsessed; none are identified, other than T-Rex. Packed spreads filled with psychedelically colored dinos sporting blocks of color, stripes, or polka dots (and infectious looks of joy) make identification even more difficult, to say nothing of counting them. Indeed, this fails as a counting primer: there are extra animals (and sometimes a grumpy T-Rex) in the backgrounds, and the next dino to join the party pokes its head into the frame on the page before. Besides all that, most kids won’t get the dance references.

It’s a bit hard to dance, or count, to this beat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1598-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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