Let's Count Goats!
Mem Fox, illus. by Jan Thomas, S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0598-1
This animated counting book uses irreverent couplets and a screwball cast of goats for its humor. As if Thomas's goats weren't entertaining enough just to look at (and they are), Fox (Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes) pairs random and often mischievous goat activities with invitations for readers to count the wide-eyed animals. "Here we see a fireman goat climbing through the smoke./ But can we count the RESCUED goats trying not to choke?" And when the narrator says, "Here we see an over goat. And this one's going under," a page turn reveals the question, "But can we count the CROSSING goats, terrified of thunder?" (The goats are seen nervously rowing a boat during a storm.) Thomas (the Dust Bunny books) sets her taupe goats against bright, solid backdrops; whether they are pricking up their ears, jumping off monkey bars, huddled in the snow, or blasting their trumpets, they exude personality and slapstick humor. The only number that shows up in the text is "one," (the book goes up to 10), giving kids the opportunity to practice counting without any hints. Ages 2–6. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/2010