A Counting Book
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763663520, 32pp.
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his striking palette, exquisite attention to detail, and quirky flair for facial expressions, Anthony Browne slyly extends the basic number concept into a look at similarities and differences portraying an extended family we can count ourselves part of.
The key to the book’s impact lies in the dignity of a portrait sitting that Browne confers on creatures more commonly seen behind glass walls. Every face has a discernible personality. Even the lemurs are distinct individuals, with variations in snouts, eyes, and ears.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The text is spare: "1 gorilla"; "2 orangutans"; "3 chimpanzees"; and so forth, concluding after "10 lemurs" with depictions of the author and an array of humans. The portraits, however, are extraordinary: Browne’s exquisite precision, with delicate hatching of fur and careful stippled delination of facial lines, becomes jubilant with color and personality.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
In this seemingly simple counting book from one to ten (plus a final coda), generous white space and classic type treatment balance expertly with large head-and-shoulders portraits of primates...Browne’s watercolor technique is just about perfect, combining realism and exaggeration, mass and focus.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Browne really cranks up the color intensity in this gorgeous, large-trim portrait gallery of primates.