cover image Bearobics: 2a Hip-Hop Counting Story

Bearobics: 2a Hip-Hop Counting Story

Victoria Parker. Viking Children's Books, $14.99 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-670-87034-9

Forgive this counting book its cutesy title. The estimable first effort of Parker, a British dance and aerobics instructor (who is also a children's book editor), the volume has an infectious, bouncy energy bolstered by Bolam's zippy, childlike art. When one boom-box-toting bear turns on the music, two kangaroos, three gorillas and an ever-growing menagerie start boogying, until ""now the forest's buzzing with the hot Bearobics beat./ A million ants come marching on a billion stamping feet."" Well-versed in the art of alliteration, Parker trots out a litany of action-conveying words: ""Going to a go-go, four ostriches arrive/ To show off fancy footwork in the jumping jungle jive."" Bolam's ebullient pictures help set the colorful animal dancers spinning, as does the book's playful design, arranging type (of varying sizes) so that the words dip and curve across the pages, seemingly in sync with the beat. These numbers add up to a toe-tapping good time. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)