Brocket continues her Clever Concepts series with this look at numbers from one to 20.
From ordinary objects and shots of the numbers found in the world to cookie cutouts of the numbers and graffiti on a wall, the brightly colored and patterned photographs take center stage. “We can find four things / that are the same. / Four that are different. / Or two of each.” The photos show a “4” on a door, four identical striped beach chairs, four different-colored triangle pennants on a string and a checkerboard-patterned slice of cake. Clever use of embroidery melds the real and the sewn on some pages. But readers need to have a firm grasp of the slippery concept of numbers-vs.-numerals once they get into the double digits so as to avoid some headaches and confusion. The page devoted to the number 10 also uses number-shaped cookies, so there are actually 11 cookies; Brocket states that “There are twelve / numbers on the clock”; and, really jarring, the end copyright page includes a picture of the actual cookie cutters from 0 through 8—6 must double as 9. But with an adult to guide children, the pictures should help them parse the distinctions.
Brocket once again presents a pleasingly huge variety of objects, from the mundane to the fantastic and everything in between. (Counting book. 4-6)