While the package is stylish, this gathering of birds turns into an unclear counting experience for little ones.
“One bird singing in the singing tree. Tweet, come sing with me!” says a little yellow canary sitting alone as a large blue bird flies to join it. The next spread shows both birds in the tree as a green bird peeks in from off the page. More and more birds of different hues join the tree, making their own signature calls as they enter. By the time the tree is full, the bird calls are a playful, cumulative read-aloud: “Tweet! Tweet! Tikka-ka-ka! Coo! Chee-chee! Wee!” and so on. “Whoo, WHO?” is the call of a purple owl, the last bird to arrive, who spots a paw reaching up the tree from the bottom of the page. On the next two spreads, a teasing kitty chases the birds away and claims the tree for napping. The text and the numerals are color-coded to match the birds. While the appropriate number of birds is in the tree at each time, the additional bird shown approaching the tree will confuse young counters.
Despite Tsong’s appealingly retro images on the graphically organized pages, this book just doesn't add up. (Board book. 2-4)