cover image Tracks Count: A Guide to Counting Animal Prints

Tracks Count: A Guide to Counting Animal Prints

Steve Engel, illus. by Alexander Petersen. Craigmore Creations (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-940052-07-6

This novel counting book aims to help young naturalists learn to identify animals’ tracks. Counting to 10, Engel and Petersen highlight animals’ paw and toe prints, each of which appear prominently. “A full moon shines on four wolves crossing a frozen lake on their four-toed feet,” writes Engel beside a quiet moonlit scene, drawn in understated pencils. As the numbers increase, animal pairs are introduced: “A five-toed wolverine follows the trail of a two-toed caribou on the tundra. Side by side count seven toes.” Some awkward phrasings and oddly anthropomorphic moments (two otters “wave goodbye”) mar an otherwise inventive idea. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)