A dog finds many new friends in this debut counting book.
A small dog wearing a yellow kerchief around his neck is lonely. When he encounters two cats, he offers to share his bone with them; they decline but are happy to play with him, nonetheless. The trio meet three frogs, four chicks (and one uncounted mother hen), five kites, six bees, and more groups of birds, plants, and insects—up to a count of 10 in a group. Some of these join the party, but others are simply part of the scenery as the friends go on their way. At the end of the day, the dog is sad to say goodbye, “But then he remember[s] all the fun he had” and looks forward to future adventures. Brown’s rhymes are well constructed, although in some stanzas, the rhythm falters slightly. Harvey’s mixed-media illustrations combine linework with very soft watercolor backgrounds; even the color of a red barn feels subdued. Although there’s some action—a rainstorm catches the friends unaware—most of the story is as low-key as the color scheme, making this a good choice for bedtime reading. Lap readers will enjoy pointing at and counting the numbered creatures, objects, and plants.
A pleasant outdoor adventure with a calm animal cast and an easy introduction to numbers.