A straightforward, clear counting book for little ones.
On each page, the direct text asks readers how many of each object are pictured, starting with one cupcake and continuing up to 10 buttons. The exterior of a flap that takes up much of the page shows photographs of one cupcake, two kittens, three butterflies and so on. The inside of the flap reveals the object again, sometimes in a different configuration or color, along with a clear representation of the numeral. The dotted lines that show youngsters how to trace the written number with their fingers are nice features and give this title a longer shelf life. The die-cut handle at the top of the book is unnecessary, but it doesn’t interfere with the images on the internal pages. First Colors, a companion title in this series, explores colors using a nearly identical format. Readers are invited to name the color of an object on the outside of a flap and then peruse additional objects in this hue on the inside. While the photos are quite vivid and striking, there are a few missteps here and there. The “orange” starfish looks a little too brown, the yellow cordless phone is starting to look dated, and children still learning about the size and scale of things may be confused by a beetle that is nearly the size of a car tire. Health conscious parents may wonder about the inclusion of so many sugary foods (cupcakes, candy, chocolate and doughnuts).
While both titles utilize vibrant photos and easy-to-open flaps, First Numbers is the more successful offering of the two. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)