cover image One Yellow Lion

One Yellow Lion

Matthew Van Fleet. Dial Books, $10.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1099-3

Aimed at the very young, This jaunty and ingenious paper-over-board counting book introduces ``one yellow lion,'' ``two white swans,'' ``three gray squirrels'' and so on, until readers finally meet ``ten pink worms.'' The first two words appear on the left side of each spread; on the right is the numeral, a portion of which unexpectedly becomes part of the indicated creature(s) when the page is opened out. In Van Fleet's simple but playful renditions, the critters are unusually expressive, as ``eight brown bears'' nuzzle each other affectionately and some of the ``nine green alligators'' climb atop their pals while others nip at nearby tails. Even more frolicsome are the book's final spreads--``You know us all, from one to ten-- / Can you count us up again?'' The entire cast interacts amusingly on an accordion-style foldout; the reverse side displays a magnificent zoological pyramid topped by (what else?) one yellow lion. This classic ``less is more'' concept book features heavy stock and pages that fold out easily, making it well suited to tiny hands. Ages 2-up. (May)