Practice counting to 10 with a variety of friendly fishies.
Cousins employees her usual palette of rich, bold colors, with fuchsia, scarlet, tangerine, and turquoise fish popping against beachy blue backgrounds. Her gouache paintings are thickly bordered in a rough black line that matches the dark hand-lettered text. A decorated number sits prominently on the left page, and the equivalent amount of fish swim on the right. The spreads are further connected by corresponding patterns, such as an orange-and-gold crisscrossed “4” to match four goldfish on the opposing page or a speckled rainbow “9” that mimics the “Nine funny fish.” Transparent spot gloss over the numbers and sea creatures adds to both the aquatic feel and the overall cheery vibe. With visually distinct species for each number, from spiky lionfish to smiling sharks, counting the sets is generally easy, although “Eight shy fish” are difficult to identify amid the seaweed. Short, peppy rhymes brimming with alliteration (“Five fat fish. / Splish splosh, splash!”) keep things appropriately bubbly, and while the ending (“Hooray! How many fish have you found?” with a variety of fish floating about) isn’t especially inspired, it does the job. A sparkly fish on the cover is superfluous but will likely tempt readers familiar with Rainbow Fish.
This appealing under-the-sea number book will hook toddlers and their parents. (Board book. 1-3)