Maisy counts up to five in the simplest of concept books.
On the left page, each numeral and the written word for the number is presented starting with one. Across the gutter, Maisy interacts with one stripy tiger, two strolling tortoises, three spotted butterflies and so on. The oversized numeral is playfully presented with the markings of the animal in question; the number four, accompanied by four fish, is scaly and yellow, and the number five, shown with swirly snails, has spiral markings of similar hues. Cousins’ childlike cartoons using bold outlines and bright colors are as delightful as ever against solid backgrounds. The last two pages review the numbers one through five, and the animals are clearly presented for easy counting. The companion title, Maisy’s First Colors, also presents concepts in an appropriately simplified form, focusing only on red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The name of the color, written in black in a large font, appears on the left page against a background of the hue in question. Here, Maisy’s animal playmates (Tallulah, Charley, Cyril and Eddie) aid the mouse in presenting four colorful fruits and one blue ice-pop. Again, the final page is a review of what has come before, with a rainbow clearly labeling all of the hues. Both titles use verse to describe the action; it mostly scans, despite one or two forced rhymes.
Cousins again proves she knows what works for the youngest of readers. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)