cover image One Guinea Pig Is Not Enough

One Guinea Pig Is Not Enough

Kate Duke. Dutton Books, $15.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45918-7

Duke (Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One) adds another feather to her cap with this addition primer. The book's title comes from the opening vignette, which finds a single, sad guinea sitting by a checkerboard. But this guinea pig is soon joined by a peer to make ""two smiling guinea pigs,"" and the story is off and running. The gang of guinea pigs grows one by one during a romp through a sunny, playground-like landscape; large, colorful numerals take center stage in each scene, providing the audience with easy-to-follow visual cues. To drive home the notion of numeric language, the appropriate equation (e.g., 1 + 1 = 2) is printed in the lower-right corner when each stage of addition is completed. Duke connects each successive vignette with zest and imagination: for example, the ""five flying guinea pigs"" who are gleefully bouncing on a trampoline land smack in the middle of another guinea pig's elaborate sand castle, creating ""six sorry guinea pigs."" At last, nine guinea pigs, cranky after their long day, are pacified by a 10th, ""big"" guinea pig; returning home, they are reunited with their parents for a total of 20 guinea pigs--""and twenty,"" Duke concludes, ""is plenty."" With mixed media drawings that bubble with energy from beginning to end, this is an exuberant and clever introduction to math. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)