Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TEN RED APPLES by Pat Hutchins


by Pat Hutchins & illustrated by Pat Hutchins

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: April 5th, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-16797-7
Publisher: Greenwillow

A farmer’s bountiful apple tree is besieged by his hungry livestock in this lively countdown from the author of countless clever concept books. Rhyming verses tell the tale of the hapless farmer as he watches his animals gobble up his shining apples. The whole barnyard emerges one by one, from mighty horse to tiny hen, to sample the succulent fruit, emitting their distinctive calls when they’re through. “Duck came and ate one, / pick, pick, pick. / Quack, quack, fiddle-dee-fee.” Each time a piece of fruit is consumed, the farmer counts the remaining apples, beseeching the animals to leave one for him. Every number has its own two-page spread, with the featured numeral in oversized red text and the appropriate number of apples lined up next to it. Hutchins’s (Pink Pig, 1994) exuberant verses will have children chanting the refrain “fiddle-dee-fee” along with the farmer. Her vivid illustrations dazzle the eye with brilliant colors. A red outer border frames the pictures, which contain a festive row of sunny yellow flowers, running along the top and bottom of the page. The characters, both animal and human, resemble brightly colored wooden toys—as if a child’s toy set had suddenly become animated. The illustrated end pages provide additional counting practice for readers; counting up to ten on one side and down to one on the facing page. A welcome addition to the counting-book genre, Hutchins’s playful tale is an edifying and energetic romp. (Picture book. 3-5)