Five birds of different shapes and sizes count off and clean up.
The first dirty birdie, with long, ostrichlike legs and yellow-spotted blue feathers, dirties itself in a mud puddle and then meets another birdie, a green, ducklike bird that’s splotched with paint. The number of “dirty birdies” increases with an “exploring birdie,” a “digging birdie,” and a “snacking birdie,” while the simple text enumerates and adds them. The birdies get cleaned up in a giant bathtub only for the crew to be tempted afterward to frolic in a dirty puddle to chase a butterfly. The final double-page spread encourages readers to count the birdies in a variety of ways (“How many short dirty birdies are there?”). To form her droll and highly animated creations, it looks as though Sattler took a few iconic cartoon birds and put them in a blender with a muted color palette to arrive at these beasties. The companion title, Jungle Gym, features a monkey, a rhinoceros, a zebra, and several other wild animals who demonstrate prepositions and their opposites in a child’s playground. For comic effect, the snake wraps itself around the tire swing, and the giraffe sticks its head through a tunnel.
Count on this title and its companion for some zippy, zany fun.(Board book. 18 mos.-3)