It takes a concept that can be rather well worn and uninspiring and not only encourages genuine engagement with the illustrations, through choosing slightly unusual objects to count, but creates a heartwarming, reassuring and funny story to lead readers and listeners through their numbers. Whilst this a delight for young learners, it’s also refreshing and humerous for the adults sharing this book with the children in their lives.
Little Donkey’s determination to snaffle some of the goodies his mother has brought back from her shopping trip provides the starting point for this numerical story; “1 shopping bag” is rummaged through by “2 nosy friends” who find “3 bags of treats”. Mama puts the treats up high out of reach, but Donkey and his friend are not to be put off their plan to secure some sweets. Precarious balancing results in an mishap inducing “9 fat tears” and “10 soft kisses” from the forgiving Mama.
Delight, drama, a soupçon of naughtiness, reassuring parental love AND the opportunity to practice your numbers are all bundled up in this charming book from an author and illustrator who have won many awards in their native Netherlands and deserve to be much better known around the world.
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