Dots take on the shapes of animals in this progressive counting board book.
Part guessing game, part counting exercise, this oversized board book with extra-thick pages introduces animals, numerals, and counting to 10. The introductory spread for each number and animal includes a raised, brightly colored numeral alongside its written form. Next to that are a series of dots in the corresponding number. The dots are covered by a solid-colored page with die-cut circles so that a flip of the page reveals what the dots become: Three dots become a heavily stylized duck; five a horse; and nine a snake, for example. The structure invites readers to guess what the dots might become, a playful element for little ones with big imaginations. Deneux’s palette is as important to the illustrations as the dots. Contrasting, deeply saturated colors help give context, as with the glowworm that appears on an entirely black background. Because the animals are made up of dots, they are abstract. This works well for some but not all; many readers may see the 10-dot dinosaur as a green horse, for instance. While this allows readers to interpret what they see, it could also be frustrating that the animals are not all immediately identifiable.
A nice approach to the counting book that does well overall even if its abstract illustrations aren’t a perfect take. (Board book. 2-4)