Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Too Many: A Seek & Find Counting Book

Marino, Gianna. 2010. ONE TOO MANY: A SEEK & FIND COUNTING BOOK. San Francisco: Chronicle. ISBN 9780811869089 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]

The appeal of this sophisticated counting book lies in its clever design. On a wordless two-page spread a shimmering line traces the route of a flea as it jumps from the numeral one toward a water trough. Next, the flea lands on the first of two cows drinking at the trough. Later, three horses join the party, followed by four goats and so on. Each new set of animals joins the already crowded scene, making it increasingly difficult to sort out each page’s new addition. Since all the animals appear in muted blacks, whites and grays, readers will need a keen eye to keep track. When twelve bats appear, chaos ensues: cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, bunnies, geese, chickens, mice, and fireflies converge around the trough. A lone skunk’s arrival ends the mayhem as the menagerie takes flight.

Fans of the “I Spy” series will appreciate Marino’s painstaking attention to detail. Careful inspection reveals that the story unfolds over the course of 24 hours, ending under the same night sky beneath which it began. A key provides a sequential list of animals and the answer to the mathematical question of how many animals appear on each page and in the entire book. Several seek-and-find challenges on the final page will send readers back to the book for further close inspection Marino’s lively paintings.

Share this wordless book with children and let them narrate the story. Afterward, they will want to explore it more carefully on their own. Invite them to plan their own counting book using Marino’s visual format.

Also by Marino:

By Suzy Parchman

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