The aesthetic pleasures are very strong, but one-on-one adult guidance will be necessary to help young mathematicians make...



Exquisite watercolor-and–gold-leaf paintings of animals and objects that look as if they tumbled out of medieval illuminated manuscripts distinguish this counting book.

The book starts off simply enough: “One cherry, one cheetah.” A background of textured gold and bluish-purple, embellished with biomorphic designs, completes the spread. Two regal dogs appear, with “two balls, one big, one small.” “Three bears, three bowls, three silver spoons” follow, but why are there just three berries to go along with “four fine foxes, sharing strawberries.” The seven giant pandas have only five parasols. Then the book really breaks the mold. Now there are “Ten cherries, one cheetah.” Those dark red, glistening cherries look good enough to eat; the last page shows the sated cheetah, with 10 cherry pits neatly lined up, and the text reads: “No cherries, one cheetah. / None, all gone.” But the cheetah is still here. The front endpapers display unordered floating numerals (1 through 10), the cheetah, and the cherry, but no other numerals appear until the end. A chart showing the numerals and the associated flora or fauna (with cherry but sans cheetah) is found on the back endpapers. These pictures differ slightly from the inside pages, and sometimes the attendant objects are omitted.

The aesthetic pleasures are very strong, but one-on-one adult guidance will be necessary to help young mathematicians make sense of these complex images. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-91095-928-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Otter-Barry

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller


Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?