A challenging exercise in sorting, categorization and identification.
The book opens with a spread populated by 11 nearly identical polar bears and four questions: “Who is shy? Who is very shy? Who has a little snowflake on his nose? And who is going on a winter holiday?” Not only are readers likely to be somewhat perplexed at being asked to sort shy bears from very shy ones, they might well find the differences in the animals’ facial features too subtle to be meaningful. The bear with the snowflake on his nose and the one going on holiday—presumably the one with the hat on his head—are a bit easier to identify. Subsequently, readers are asked to sort angry from very angry rhinos, happy from very happy frogs, sad from very sad spiders and more. Each spread also asks readers to locate a creature wearing something specific or performing a certain action, and there’s always one going on a winter holiday. A simultaneously publishing title, 8 9 and 10, incorporates counting questions—asking readers, for instance, “Who is standing on 1 leg and who on 2?” and “Who has 2 humps and who has 3?” Though it’s not a board book, Not All Animals Are Blue, by Béatrice Boutignon (2009), covers similar ground far more successfully.
Even the most patient and precocious of preschoolers will need lots of help with this one. (Board book. 3-5)