One lone hamster welcomes nine friends to join in on the fun in this offbeat romp.
As the numbers count up from one to 10, the visual design presents a straightforward sequence. On the left-hand page, a large hand-drawn numeral appears above the simple text, which begins with the number spelled out. The right-hand page depicts the appropriate number of hamsters engaged in a variety of activities. Though the lines rhyme, there is little to no relationship from one to the next. “Three hamsters with a pear / Four hamsters in the air.” The growing crowd of rodents interact in quirky fashion. Pudgy, soft characters strike unusual poses; they eat rice with chopsticks and bask in the sun. Smatterings of color extend outside the borders to emphasize the number and the animals' hues. Against light, lime-green backgrounds, their collective hamster-ness is emphasized over individuality. Their faces are most endearing when their quivering smiles are on display, but their open-mouthed expressions sometimes resemble a grimace.
With visuals that far exceed the text in interest, this count-up is one disjointed trip. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)