OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

A COUNTING BOOK

Imaginative play is celebrated in this slight concept selection. With her teddy bear and wagon in tow, an independent young girl plays outdoors. Each spread displays the child interacting with the anthropomorphized animals she meets. Counting from one to ten, each brief alliterative phrase highlights a different set of animals actively enjoying their natural surroundings. There’s no conflict in this sweet story where “Nine hamsters are hugging. / [and] Ten llamas are loving.” The animals’ wardrobe, consisting of tutus, bonnets and parasol, is quaint. The girl happily declares, “And I am part of it all,” and her parents warmly greet her when she returns home. Spowart’s colored-pencil drawings suit the exuberance of the child’s outing, creating a warm, hazy glow. Thin borders and white backgrounds display rolling green hills and a sliver of blue sky. However, the characters’ static expressions do little to convey the full extent of the child’s perceived delight, making this an ultimately too-earnest, nondescript effort. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-56397-409-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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TIME TO PEE!

That most basic of functions, subject of countless earnest tomes, at last receives a treatment whose instructional value is equaled by its entertainment value. “If you ever get that funny feeling . . . ” reads a series of signs borne by a host of cheerful, cartoony mice as they fly, drive, march, and (in at least one instance) get shot from a cannon past a bevy of dubious-looking multicultural children: “don’t PANIC! Don’t FRET!” The simple text is direct, not without humor (“And please don’t ignore it!”), and wonderfully child-wise, providing the critical reassurance that “everything will still be right where it was.” The multitudinous mice in their kite-flying, instrument-playing, sky-diving, helicopter-driving variety constitute a visual feast that enlivens the simple text and will keep the inevitable re-readings from becoming snooze-inducing. The uncluttered layout allows the children to take center stage while the legions of mice, with their text-bearing signs, happily perform their supporting roles. Those kids move from doubt to magnificent relief to pride in a happily encouraging progression, making this offering number one in the potty department. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7868-1868-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2003

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There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple,...

TEN EASTER EGGS

A cheerful brown bunny hiding behind the edges of an Easter basket looks just as surprised as young children will be to find the chicks revealed as each egg “hatches.”

With help from a reading partner, young children are encouraged to count down the eggs as they disappear with each page turn. Alternatively, they can count up as the chicks are revealed. A simple phrase at the top of each right-hand page states the number of eggs in the basket. The line at the bottom (half of a rhyming couplet) tells how many chicks readers should look for. The numbers are spelled out, requiring young children to recognize the word instead of the more familiar numeral. On the left-hand page, the spaces previously occupied by an egg begin to fill with meadow plants and critters, eventually becoming a scene as busy and cheerful as a greeting card. This book begs to be touched. Each egg is made of shaped plastic that protrudes through die-cut holes on the verso; they can be pressed but seem to be securely anchored. The pastel chicks are lightly flocked, providing an additional tactile experience. Although the pages are thicker than paper, young fingers may find the holes a convenient way to grip (and possibly tear) the pages.

There is always room in the Easter basket for a counting book, and many readers may appreciate having another simple, nonreligious holiday book. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-74730-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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