Mother Earth's Counting Book

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If the motto of the day is ``Think globally, act locally,'' this luminous picture book helps inculcate that environmentalist precept. Clements urges readers to count from one earth (``only one'') through nine mammals (``and many more, including you'') up to 10 fishes, then back again, from 10 plants to the one earth. Johnson's warm, subtly graded full-spread paintings place each of the named objects into whimsical but meaningful context. For example, eight birds (gull, owl, flamingo, etc.) fly out of a globe that, like an eggshell, has cracked in two; six specific mountains are represented as triangles, each superimposed on the next-largest to show their relative heights. Endnotes explain how the 108 named items here were chosen (the six mountains, for example, are the tallest of each populated continent) and provide additional information (the gull is a sea bird and omnipresent, the owl is a nighttime hunter). The result: children can tailor the extent of their reading to suit their own curiosity, and that curiosity will likely be fanned by the intelligence of Clements's and Johnson's presentation. Ages 3-up. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- This pleasant counting book gently explores the diverse wonders of our planet. Counting from 1 to 10 and down again, the spare text lists geographic features (``3 climate zones/only 3'') and animals (``8 birds/ and many more''). Four unillustrated closing pages add descriptive details, e.g., the square mileage of the four oceans and the habitats and orders of nine mammals. Softly colored illustrations with appropriately earthy tones depict the described feature with gracefully varied simplicity. The seven continents are clearly shown on a roughly accurate world map, while the four oceans are seen from an unexpected northern view, with the Arctic Ocean in the center. Locations of the nine mammals are specifically designated, while the eight birds emerge from a globe that looks like a cracked egg. The geographical vagueness of the illustrations is occasionally unfortunate; e.g., the placement of 10 fish at various spots on a map, for example, might lead readers to assume that they are located in the area shown, especially since this is the case with the mammals on the preceding page. Frasier's On the Day You Were Born (Harcourt, 1991) is one of several more intrinsically involving works with a similar theme, but the light geography-based approach found in this one is worth considering. --Steven Engelfried, Alameda County Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887081385
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Pages: 44
  • Age range: 5 years

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