Make that over 500 animals—and practice aplenty both in counting and in spotting tiny details.
A bear band, armies of “Piggy Chefs” and carpenter beetles, a rabbit circus and a flight of birds march single file in succession along a winding path as other creatures look on. Each troupe or group is 100 strong, and each (except for the birds, which are relatively generic) is composed of small, smiling, brightly colored cartoon figures bearing different instruments, dishes, tools or other distinguishing items. Sebe slips in comical byplay to track and also adds lines of parade chatter and captions that invite viewers to keep count. They are challenged to look for “girl bears” (presumably the marchers with the long eyelashes), the bear carrying the piano, a piggy that loves carrots, a can of blue paint and dozens of like features. Not all 100 of each creature appear on any one spread; instead, they snake along over page turns. The challenge is mitigated by occasional place-holding markers and a declaration on the part of the last of each animal of its kind that it’s bringing up the rear. At the end, the author crams all of the marchers into a teeming spread with a handful of new objects to pick out.
Sexist note aside, it’s a delight for children with obsessive tendencies…and even those with shorter attention spans may find it hard to put down. (Picture book. 4-6)