An innovative counting book presents a spunky, gray puppy following a blue ball as it bounces past all sorts of animals on a family farm.
The story begins with a wordless view of all the inhabitants of the farm, a traditional mix of animals and a human mother, father, and child, who all present white. The child holds a huge, blue ball, ready to toss it for the waiting puppy. The bouncing ball and the leaping puppy then lead readers through the brief, patterned text, bounding past two cows, three frogs, four pigs, and on in sequential fashion up to 10 chicks. Each group of animals appears on the following spread, linked by the text and interacting with the next set in some humorous way: “One blue ball… / bounced past two brown cows. Two brown cows… / spied three green frogs.” The whole gang of animals and people end up in the barnyard, where the ball is at last caught by the persistent pup. A satisfying concluding page shows the puppy holding the ball out to the child for another toss. Charming illustrations are filled with expressive animals in motion, with black, segmented motion lines indicating the bouncing action of the blue ball. A large trim size and double-page-spread format make this a fine choice for reading aloud to a group, but the opportunity to count up all those adorable animals will reward perusal by lapsitters as well.
This little pup knows how to stand up and be counted. (Picture book. 3-6)