cover image One Smiling Grandma

One Smiling Grandma

Ann Marie Linden, Anne Marie Linden. Dial Books, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1132-7

All that's missing here is a calypso beat, as this sunny counting book takes its rhythmic cue from the sights and sounds of the Caribbean. The opening pages set a languid island tone, as one of Russell's boldly colored, full-spread paintings introduces ``one smiling grandma in a rocking chair.'' Grandmother adorns her winsome granddaughter with ``two yellow bows tied on braided hair,'' and the pair sets out on a day's jaunt, passing such sights as ``eight sugar apples, just out of reach.'' The bright, borderless paintings present lush views of the tropical landscape; images seem to spill off the book's vibrant pages. Colors and shapes offer a rich texture filled with the warmth and light of the setting. The spare text sways with a lilting cadence and imaginative use of language. This picture book extends beyond the usual scope of a counting exercise, transporting the reader to a different locale where numbers can mean taking in an unfamiliar milieu and adding new facts along the way. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)