Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The animal stars of this oversized, cumulative counting book engage in activities that certainly sound normal enough: seven geese honk, eight monkeys swing, nine spiders spin, etc.). But as Kellogg's illustrations show, the animals are performing these feats in anything but the customary manner: the geese are honking horns, the monkeys swing golf clubs, the spiders hang from a spinning carousel. When the count reaches 12, debut author Brooks at last acknowledges the joke: "Twelve whales blow soap bubbles./ What? Whales don't blow soap bubbles!" Counting back down again, he points out the incongruities along the way ("Pelicans don't fish with poles") in a preschooler-pleasing isn't-this-silly voice. To these festivities Kellogg contributes a magical top hat, from which the animals are conjured forth, and a host of other giddy details. Though Brooks has a clever concept, ultimately it is Kellogg's exuberantly imagined art, nimbly rendered in his characteristically sunny colors, that counts most. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susan Fournier
There is so much action in this book-it challenges your eyes and mind just to look at the pictures! Add the wonderful counting examples and you have a winner. Each page introduces the ridiculous actions of a set of animals. The next page adds another set while continuing the antics of the animals previously introduced. When arriving at twelve, the readers count backwards as the frog gobbles up items from the scenes. Laugh out loud with the hilarious illustrations as you share this book with a child. It could also be read independently by a beginning or developing reader.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1A magical frog transports young readers to a world of imaginative wonder where 2 ducks dive off diving boards, 3 elephants play trumpets, etc., all the way to 12 whales blowing soap bubbles. Enjoying the antics are a young girl and boy who pull the numbers and animals from a tall black hat and finally declare, "Whales don't blow soap bubbles!" As readers count backwards, the little frog begins to devour all the props with each descending number, and grows and grows until he spans a two-page spread. He then leaps into the atmosphere and announces, "But frogs jump...any way they want!" Not only are numbers from 1-12 brought to life, but words with double meanings describe the creatures' zany activities. Eight monkeys don't swing from trees, but rather swing golf clubs. Similarly, nine spiders spin not a web, but from an amusement airplane ride. Kellogg's watercolor illustrations are masterful. They enliven the text and perfectly capture the humor. The oversized format allows children to examine the minute details of each picture and find the predictable clues for the next number. A creative book of counting and conjuring.Patricia Mahoney Brown, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Kenmore, NY