cover image The Crayon Counting Book

The Crayon Counting Book

Pam Munoz Ryan. Charlesbridge Publishing, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-88106-954-9

In a high-tech approach to a low-tech subject, computer-generated crayons strike different poses on each page of this surprisingly animated counting book. The crayons appear in rows, pyramids and pairs do-si-do-ing in a line; they stand on their heads and lie in piles. The rhyming text counts by twos, first by even numbers (""A set of twins joins the color scheme,/ which brings the count to precisely sixteen""), then by odds (""Seventeen pastels, delicate and light/ Nineteen hotshots, bold and bright""). While the reader is ostensibly counting crayons from a box of 24, she must suspend disbelief: obviously there would not be 11 greens (with names like ""iguana,"" ""wasabi"" and ""emerald tree boa""), much less 15 blues, within a particular assortment. It's a slight book, but a colorful one. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)