TEN by Vladimir Radunsky


Age Range: 4 - 5
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Radunsky (Mannekin Pis, p. 961, etc.) tucks plenty of counting practice into this evergreen “family” story rich with Radunsky’s offbeat humor. He’s off and running even before the title page, with a labeled picture of an armadillo, “naked after taking a bath.” This is, of course, so that readers will know for sure what an armadillo is. However, little known to most will be the fact that armadillos “are very fond of fine clothes.” Hence the need to demonstrate certain favorites: ear socks, tail stockings, and “pretty dresses or elegant suits.” Finally, “The Story Begins.” Chattering along, he fills his pages with silly asides about his protagonists, whose names he can’t remember. Head over heels in love, Mr. and Mrs. Armadillo hug and play and finally Mrs. Armadillo becomes as big as ten armadillos. A two-page spread is filled mostly with Mrs. A. overwhelming the car as they race off to the hospital to have their baby. They are both overjoyed and overwhelmed when not one baby arrives, but ten. Because they can’t pick names, the newborns are named One through Ten and they get potties and baseball caps, tutus and pets (cows, mostly) from doting relatives—all of which tumble across the pages for young viewers to count. That’s about it: the babies arrive, receive their presents, then—open the flap—they pile into a boat-turned-carriage for an outing—and “they were all very happy.” Blue-nosed adult armadillos, nattily attired in patterned ear and tail socks, tumble with the infants across monochrome backgrounds in this bright, amiable, universally recognizable episode. (Picture book. 4-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-670-03563-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002


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