cover image More Than One

More Than One

Miriam Schlein. Greenwillow Books, $17.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-14102-8

Budding Noam Chomskys may be disappointed that this book doesn't address the linguistic question of why singular nouns can refer to groups of things or people. Just about everyone else, however, is certain to enjoy how these two veterans of children's literature show that ""one can be more than one."" Schlein's (I Sailed with Columbus) text is simple but always playful, whether she's explaining that ""a pair of shoes is always two,"" or using the various permutations of a family to show that ""one can be different, different every time."" Caldecott Honor artist Crews's (Freight Train) watercolor and gouache illustrations have an airy, often impressionistic feel that works well with Schlein's non-pedantic approach--although he displays a surer hand in depicting nature (a flock of birds, a school of fish) than in rendering people. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)