Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The lyrical text and crisp color photographs of this beguiling counting book invite readers to look closely at the natural world. The tone is set at the beginning, where a dynamic photograph of forest foliage balances against a smaller inset photo of a boy setting off on a journey through the woods: "One path,/ a stick for a staff." Readers next see two mourning doves perched in a black walnut tree: "Two birds,/ daybreak's words." The poem's gentle and reflective tone not only instructs readers to notice "four worms" digging in the ground but stretches the imagination by adding, "how the earth turns." While a few of Lyon's more elliptical or syntactically complex lines may be a bit challenging, Olson's photographs, taken in eastern Kentucky, shed light on their meaning and will delight nature-lovers of any age. Of further help, unobtrusive captions identify the birds and wildflowers in each picture. Teachers and parents seeking to help children appreciate the simple beauty to be found on a walk through the woods will treasure this exquisite book. Ages 2-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Shalini Murthy
A picture book that combines the best elements of picture books, informational books and poetry for the young, this book is a must for every bookshelf. While George Ella Lyon weaves magic with her words, Ann Olson embellishes this magic with her pictures. The photographs of natural objects seen while walking through the woods are remarkably clear and vivid. Teachers can use this book as an introduction to a nature walk and help heighten childrens' observation skills.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1A short poem illustrated with stunning full-color photographs, this counting book is a simple lesson in ecology that reminds children of the importance of green space. It is clear that humans and animals count on trees to be there, to "clean the air/for everything/that breathes." Lyon's lyrical voice is concisely interpreted by lush photographs of the Kentucky woods. Vivid greens, the trickle of the creek, the moist woods, all come to life in these pictures. Children count bugs, flowers, birds, and worms as they drink in the beauty of nature. Beginning readers can manage the poem while learning about flora and fauna; species are identified in the captions. Whole-language classrooms will find this a natural for nature and poetry studies. Not just another counting book, this one will enrich most collections.Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
A book organized around a counting theme features crisp, close-up photographyin colors so vivid, they hardly seem realto celebrate the beauty of a forest in Kentucky. Creating more of a rhythmic text than the poem suggested by the subtitle, Lyon (Ada's Pal, 1996, etc.) offers thoughtful notions as well as more ordinary ones: "Two birds, daybreak's words" fares better than "Six tracks./Who's coming back?" Olson identifies not only her subjects but the locales, as a child walking alone in the woods sees what the photographs document. There are unusual beetles, a close-up of worms, hidden nests, and wildflowers captured or arranged in clear, visible compositions. Neither a true counting book, nor a strictly informational book, nor a story, this succeeds in all its riveting detail as a tribute to a place that both author and photographer hold dear. (Picture book. 3-6)