Using circus animals, this is a beautifully illustrated counting backward book, similar to the song/rhyme of five little monkeys jumping on a bed ( except here they are babies in a crib. At the end of the story, the mother or nanny discovers them missing, only to find them having a good time at the fair. While recent events of children being abducted from their homes during the night could make this book scary, the illustrations clearly show that it is a fun fantasy.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-In this reverse counting book, 10 infants with golden-brown hair are asleep in a big portacrib. One by one, different groups of jolly animals-turtles, peacocks, bears, kangaroos, and seals-slip through the nursery window and play with each delighted baby before spiriting him to a surprise destination. Finally a nursemaid discovers the children have disappeared. She rushes to a nearby carnival where she finds everyone having a grand time on the rides. The animals are returned to their cages in the zoo and the babies to a giant 10-infant stroller. The mixed-medium, flat illustrations bleed across a page and a quarter, giving a longitudinal sweep to the action. A small rectangular picture on the opposite side of the text block shows the animal and baby from the previous page climbing out the window. The warm colors, soft lines, and happy faces of the characters allay any feelings of threat. As in Alexandra Day's ``Carl'' books (Farrar), everyone is having improbable fun. The perky text is based on ``a popular old song,'' and uses rhyme and repetition of phrases. The last several pages, showing the nursemaid and the carnival, are wordless. A lively interactive concept book, cleverly presented to make subtraction fun and interesting.-Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA