Exuberant rhymes describe an energetic preschooler’s day in this colorful counting book. Readers can happily count along with the smiling sister as she bustles through her busy schedule. The fun begins at breakfast, as brother and sister sit down to eat. After that, it’s off to preschool for sister, where a plethora of counting opportunities abound—from the number of children participating in story time to how many doughnuts are available at snack time. Coats (One Hungry Baby, 1994) focuses on everyday items and circumstances familiar to young children, such as three friends walking hand-in-hand to playgroup and five jars of paint await a budding artist’s inspiration. Several lines of verse introduce each new number, with a full-color, two-page spread accompanying the rhyme. The featured number is highlighted via capitalization, although the text lacks any visual representation of the numeral itself. (“NINE fingers pointing up, reaching very high. / Twinkle, twinkle, little star! / Let’s all touch the sky.”) Bolam’s (Louie’s Goose, 1999) full-bleed illustrations offer vibrantly colored scenes from a child’s day, depicting a merry assortment of multicultural children doing what children do best: namely, play. Several of the illustrations offer a slight counting challenge, e.g., for the seven kangaroos hopping, the accompanying picture reveals an entire playground full of frolicking children, and it’s up to readers to seek out the ones imitating the bouncy beasts. Lively rhymes about fun activities combined with spirited pictures make this one young readers will want to hear over and again. (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7894-5622-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2000

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The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon.


This bedtime book offers simple rhymes, celebrates the numbers one through 10, and encourages the counting of objects.

Each double-page spread shows a different toddler-and-caregiver pair, with careful attention to different skin tones, hair types, genders, and eye shapes. The pastel palette and soft, rounded contours of people and things add to the sleepy litany of the poems, beginning with “Goodnight, one fork. / Goodnight, one spoon. / Goodnight, one bowl. / I’ll see you soon.” With each number comes a different part in a toddler’s evening routine, including dinner, putting away toys, bathtime, and a bedtime story. The white backgrounds of the pages help to emphasize the bold representations of the numbers in both written and numerical forms. Each spread gives multiple opportunities to practice counting to its particular number; for example, the page for “four” includes four bottles of shampoo and four inlaid dots on a stool—beyond the four objects mentioned in the accompanying rhyme. Each home’s décor, and the array and types of toys and accoutrements within, shows a decidedly upscale, Western milieu. This seems compatible with the patronizing author’s note to adults, which accuses “the media” of indoctrinating children with fear of math “in our country.” Regardless, this sweet treatment of numbers and counting may be good prophylaxis against math phobia.

The joys of counting combine with pretty art and homage to Goodnight Moon. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book.


A familiar song repackaged as a board book doubles as a finger puppet.

Many a caregiver has sung this refrain to a newborn or toddler, ignoring the decidedly sad lyrics of the original. Magsamen lays claim and sweetens it up. She uses only the chorus and changes the last line to “I’ll give you lots of hugs… / and kisses every day” instead of the expected “Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Her cheery artwork, reminiscent of applique, recalls the song’s country-music roots and is anything but sad. The pages are decorated with hearts and cuddly-looking caregiver-child animal pairs—foxes, skunks with sunny yellow umbrellas, bunnies, raccoons, and squirrels. The thick, heart-shaped pages include a circular die-cut hole through which readers might poke the smiling felt sun puppet attached to the back cover. A finger inserted from the back makes the sun wiggle and will capture even the youngest baby’s attention. The puppet feature does not obstruct the initial page turns, but when a toddler says, “Do it again” (as they doubtless will), quickly re-positioning the finger puppet is somewhat challenging.

A fun but inessential novelty, as much toy as book. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-30576-0

Page Count: 6

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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