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)