HOW MANY LEGS? by Katja Spitzer


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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This small, hardcover book uses brightly colored images, words, and numerals to illustrate counting from one to 10.

Initially, each number receives the same treatment: midverso is one large numeral, and underneath is its spelling, in clear, sans-serif lettering. The bold turquoise is a good choice against the stark white page. Each recto sports a colorful, block-print illustration. Above it is a small version of the turquoise numeral and the name of the pictured images, from “1 unicorn” to “10 bugs.” In between are, in ascending order, owls, ice creams, hats, kites, robots, turrets, legs (on one spider), and cakes. Appealing details such as faces on kites and berries on cakes invite eyes to linger. The second set of pages seems at first glance to invite repeated counting, again ascending from one to 10. “How many cowboys?” on the verso is perfectly matched by one cowboy on the opposite page. Unfortunately, inaccurate or values-laden adjectives are inexplicably assigned to the remaining groups from two to 10, derailing the counting objective. The page with nine birds asks, “How many squawking birds?” It shows nine closed-mouth birds, including an owl. Two mermaids (white, like the rest of the human characters) are labeled “beautiful.” Other missteps include “scary monsters” and “stylish shoes.”

Condescending text choices in the second part of this counting book undermine the whimsical, retro graphics. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-909263-59-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2015


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