Starting at one teddy bear and continuing up to 20 jelly beans, readers are encouraged to count clear, stock photos and trace numbers in this tactile lift-the-flap book.
Above the flap, a specific number is introduced (“four penguins”), and under the flap, youngsters are encouraged to count and determine the amount on their own (“How many cars?”). An oversized image of the numeral accompanies the objects to be counted, and a channel in the page allows readers to trace the number. A dotted line with arrows shows young learners how to trace the number with their fingers, with a gray circle showing where to begin and a red one, where to stop. Colorful, tactile dots on the final pages let little ones practice counting as they drag their fingers down the page. This works with numbers one through 10, but gets near impossible with 11 through 20, as the dots shrink to fit the space. The companion title, First ABC (978-1-58925-66-2), follows in kind. One object, animal or person starting with the featured letter appears above the flap (“Bb is for balloons”), and another is revealed below (“Bb is bear”). Again, a channel in the page is provided so readers can trace the uppercase letters, but, strangely enough, not the lowercase ones. The images chosen for each letter, from an alligator to a zipper, are easily recognized, typical alphabet-book fair. The flaps, which could have been sturdier, provide few surprises.
Both titles are clear and successful in their mission if a little boring. Flashcards in board-book form. (Board book. 2-5)