Barefoot but otherwise clothed critters have a full day, collecting friends along the way.
A gray fox girl enjoys a bit of time by herself. “A quiet day reading is perfect for one. / Books take you everywhere under the sun. / But when the story is over you might start to feel blue / And realize your day would be better with… // Two!” Two friends are perfect for making pancakes, but after a yummy breakfast, playing outside is more fun with three than two. Four is a great number of buddies for getting chores done swiftly, and so on. One critter of a different species (including a triceratops) is added to the ever more diverse troupe of friends for each new task or event…until they head home with 12: “As the forest grows dark we head home for the night, / Led by our friend with good evening eyesight. / The stories are spooky and darkness is near / But with us twelve together, there’s nothing to fear.” And the gray fox beds down alone, one again. White’s follow-up to Adventures with Barefoot Critters (2014) is a charming cumulative counting tale, though the verse occasionally strains for rhyme and scansion. Both boys and girls are represented (distinguished by such stereotypical visual clues as attire and presence or absence of eyelashes) in the pastel-hued watercolor illustrations.
Despite quibbles, it’s a charmer. (Picture book. 2-7)