cover image Orange Book

Orange Book

Rizzoli, Richard McGuire. Rizzoli International Publications, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1465-7

As this retro-look counting book opens, 14 oranges sit in a tree, standing out against a blue pencil background. One by one their fates are revealed. In a busy diner, ``Four was squeezed for the juice''; ``Seven was divided among the crew'' on a lofty construction site. In a TV studio, a fortunate orange is being filmed, while a mate, ``not as lucky,'' sits unused on a table. And fourteen, of course, ``may be the next one you eat,'' as a child consumes orange wedges on a plate. As in Peter Newell's The Hole Book and The Slant Book , the simplified art--all in blue except for the spherical fruit--is all geometric shapes, straight lines and clean curves. McGuire, though, goes beyond a mere tribute to Newell, through his confident use of droll wit and graphic compositions--a countertop sweeping diagonally across the page, the slanting deck of an ocean liner. As a counting book, the work may confuse youngsters with the fact that each orange is presented singly--not in groups to be enumerated. Nor is this an informational book like Zack Rogow and Mary Szilagyi's Oranges but a quirky volume, fun for sharing. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)