cover image Abigail


Catherine Rayner. Tiger Tales, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58925-147-2

Rayner, an experienced creator of winsome creatures including Solomon Crocodile and Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit, imagines a giraffe who loves numbers and wanders the African savannah looking for things to count. Abigail is first seen in an exaggerated double-page close-up that will leave readers feeling they’ve just gotten a big, sloppy giraffe kiss. Abigail’s plans to count things are thwarted by zebras and cheetahs who move too fast to let her count their stripes and spots. They’re not great counting assistants, either, but Abigail fixes that. “They practiced all day long until at last their counting was nearly perfect.” When night falls, dismay erupts: “How can we count when the sun has set?” A vertical gatefold pointing toward the dark night sky hints at the many shining objects to be counted there. The story is a tad insubstantial, but that won’t bother young readers, who will be diverted by the delicious curves of Abigail’s long neck, the swooping rhythms of the running cats, and the beckoning reaches of the African veldt. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)