Counting by Numbers

Roger McGough, Author, Marketa Prachaticka, Illustrator
Roger McGough, Author, Marketa Prachaticka, Illustrator Viking Children's Books $8.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-82671-1
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
In this lively rhyme book, assorted fanciful characters--and anthropomorphized objects--depict numbers from one to 25. The volume begins promisingly, as ``one little red hen'' seems to hatch simultaneously from her shell and an overturned paint can, and ``two baby chicks'' roll merrily along in combination shell-prams. Many of the subsequent examples, however, are too complex and obscure for the intended age group: a jar of ``eight onions in a pickle'' would be beyond the grasp of virtually all three-year-olds. Why are 15 telephones ``asleep for the night'' (and why are they snoring); in what way do telescopes ``untwinkle'' stars--and how is that explained to youngsters? While Prachaticka's zany, contemporary pictures are individually amusing, the cumulative result is a self-conscious, overly sophisticated counting book. Ages 1-5. (Apr.)
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