Not quite as simple as ABC, but great fun nonetheless.

THE ONE AND ONLY 1, 2, 3 BOOK

Numbers and letters vie for supremacy in this amusing picture book.

“I’m the one and only one,” announces Number 1, brandishing his number 1 cup. Neither Number 2, with two shoes, nor Number 3 (with three cows) nor any of the other numbers—not even 5 with five elephants—is able to compete with Number 1. Chaos threatens to erupt when a lowercase letter a appears in the mix, humbly asking if this is the alphabet book? By the time the pages have filled with planes, cups of coffee and dancing frogs, Number 1 is feeling claustrophobic. He runs to an empty page with his precious cup. For a few minutes he is alone, “Just me. The one and only one!” His hard-won solitude is short-lived, however. The errant letter a appears again, along with a handful of letters, all searching for the alphabet book. This is, of course, the numbers book! Renowned cartoonist Blechman manages to put an original spin on a well-worn theme. His whimsical and wiggly numbers are brimming with character and help to transform the frequently tedious ordeal of learning to count into a lightly humorous explication with which kids, parents, librarians and teachers can have fun. The hand-lettered speech balloons might occasionally be hard for beginning readers, but the sense is usually obvious from the context.

Not quite as simple as ABC, but great fun nonetheless. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56846-245-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2013

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts.

ONE FAMILY

A playful counting book also acts as a celebration of family and human diversity.

Shannon’s text is delivered in spare, rhythmic, lilting verse that begins with one and counts up to 10 as it presents different groupings of things and people in individual families, always emphasizing the unitary nature of each combination. “One is six. One line of laundry. One butterfly’s legs. One family.” Gomez’s richly colored pictures clarify and expand on all that the text lists: For “six,” a picture showing six members of a multigenerational family of color includes a line of laundry with six items hanging from it outside of their windows, as well as the painting of a six-legged butterfly that a child in the family is creating. While text never directs the art to depict diverse individuals and family constellations, Gomez does just this in her illustrations. Interracial families are included, as are depictions of men with their arms around each other, and a Sikh man wearing a turban. This inclusive spirit supports the text’s culminating assertion that “One is one and everyone. One earth. One world. One family.”

A visually striking, engaging picture book that sends the message that everyone counts. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-374-30003-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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