A Child's First Counting Book
By Alison Jay
(Dutton Juvenile, Hardcover, 9780525478362, 40pp.)
Publication Date: September 6, 2007
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One little girl wakes up to a wondrous fairy-tale world. She spies two dancing feet from the Golden Goose tale, three hungry bears just visited by Goldilocks, and four royal mattresses between the Princess and the Pea. Simple in format, with many objects to count on each colorful page, 1 2 3 is just right for children learning their numbers 1 through 10. As in her ABC and Picture This . . . , acclaimed as ?beautiful,? ?inventive,? and ?marvelous,? Alison Jay captivates with this clever work of art, treating readers of all ages to visual surprises, scenes from ten favorite fairy tales, and witty stories-within-stories.
Alison Jay is the celebrated illustrator of many books for children. She lives in London, England.
In this elegant but highly accessible picture book, a little girl falls asleep with a book of fairy tales open in her hands. She dreams of flying over a bucolic landscape to a land where she appears in a series of fairytale scenes. Each illustration features a number, beginning with one and going to ten, then counting back to one. The luminous paintings offer several challenges: to count the objects named (and other sets of objects representing that number); to find the girl in each scene; and to identify the fairy tale represented by each picture. For instance, in one double-page spread ("3 three little pigs"), three plump pigs look out one window, while a toothy wolf peeks into their home through another. Three teacups wait on a stool nearby, three cupcakes sit prettily on a plate, three cushions are stacked on a chair, and so on. On the last page, a key identifies each of the stories pictured. The paintings create their own magical world through the warm glow of gentle colors, the softness of rounded forms, and the antiqued quality of the crackled glaze. With large-scale illustrations that reward close study, this beautifully designed book will work for individual viewing as well as classroom sharing and discussion. Booklist, starred review