Yates’ lovable Dog—of Dog Loves Books (2010) and Dog Loves Drawing (2012)—is back for some counting fun.
Dog needs some help falling asleep, and when counting sheep doesn’t work, he scours his books for other creatures to count. He finds an egg, out of which hatches a baby dodo, and begins: One. “I’ll look after you,” he says. “Together we are two. Number One, follow me—we must find Number Three.” In the following pages, they find a three-toed sloth, a four-legged camel, a five-lined skink and so on. Ultimately, 10 animals arrive at the desert, where, realizing they’ve lost One, they scamper off in all directions to search, sparking a quick countdown. Finding One counting the stars, they decide to join him, smiling up into the night. In each of the sweet watercolor illustrations, the animals are labeled with their names and numbers (No. 6 / The Fly, for instance) and with relevant body parts counted out (the fly is shown upside down with numerals printed above each spindly leg), giving the feel of an old natural-history or biology text. The prose, peppered with occasional rhyming verse, isn’t as smooth as it might be, but the illustrations more than make up for this limitation.
A worthy addition to the ranks of animal-themed counting books. (Picture book. 3-6)