Ten Little Beasties

Ten Little Beasties

3.0 2
by Ed Emberley, Rebecca Emberley

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If there's one thing beasties love to do, it's dance! When one little beastie is joined by two little, three little, and more little beasties, we count UP until there's a party on the page. But when one of the little beastie starts trouble, it's time to start counting DOWN.


If there's one thing beasties love to do, it's dance! When one little beastie is joined by two little, three little, and more little beasties, we count UP until there's a party on the page. But when one of the little beastie starts trouble, it's time to start counting DOWN.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's survival of the fittest in this wild counting book. This father-and-daughter team offers a cast of spiky, angular, black-and-white monsters that cavort to a riff on the "Ten Little Indians" nursery rhyme. "One little/ two little/ three little beasties,/ four little/ five little/ six little beasties," it reads as the corresponding number of creatures appear on each page. At the end, a reptilian beastie begins devouring the others, until only one is left—but not the one readers might expect. A downloadable performance of the song by Rebecca Emberley's daughter, Adrian, is available online. Ages 2–6. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

“…a feast of beasts and brilliant colors for young readers.” —School Library Journal

“It's survival of the fittest in this wild counting book.” —Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The simple text of this book counts from one to ten and back down again to one, as little beasties dance and cavort across the pages. A unique new beastie is added each time the number grows by one. One by one, they disappear as the count goes down. The illustrations are comprised primarily of black-and-white, flat, inventive shapes played against changing color backgrounds; each double-page spread is a different color. Bits of these hues also appear on some of the beasties. It's fun to seek out particular beasties as they change size and position with each turn of the page. Although non-representational, the shapes of the beasties suggest natural objects or creatures. Readers may be inspired to create their own non-representational zoo to count. They can also download the accompanying song and sing along. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Begin with one weird and wacky, black-and-white beastie, then add an additional, but very different-looking one, to each subsequent page, and you have the Emberleys' newest offering, done with their inimitable twist and style. Looking a little like what one might expect to find under the microscope, each creature is fantastical and geometric, but with a splotch of color to add to the exotic designs each one sports. Each spread is of a different vibrant color, with the appropriate number of beasties placed on it. The text can be sung to the tune of "Ten Little Indians," though Adrian Emberley has written an original melody to accompany the book, which can be found on the website mentioned on the back cover. Once all 10 are together, it takes a few more pages to figure out that one of them is eating the others, which is why readers have to count back down, where they discover that one of the smallest beasties gets the last word—or bite. Some of the beasties will remind children of familiar creatures, while others are unique; in either case, it's a feast of beasts and brilliant colors for young readers.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
Kirkus Reviews

The Emberleys' romp joins the heavily populated field of titles loosely based on common childhood rhymes.

Abstract monsters created in mostly black and white cavort against vibrant backgrounds. As the group gathers, the counting begins: "One little / two little / three little beasties..," Once all 10 are assembled, they dance for one spread. Turn the page—surprise—one beastie gobbles up another. And so the carnivorous countdown commences. Counting up to 10 and back down again is nothing new. What grabs readers here are the primitive-looking beasties populating the pages. Each beast has some unique identifiable shape or special additional colors: One has a striped horn, one flashes a blue zippered mouth and one sports an elaborate white spiral on its body. This helps in keeping track of the creatures for counting purposes, but that task is often challenging, as some spreads only show parts of a beastie. As most concept books are aimed squarely at preschoolers, this effort may suffer from audience confusion; it could be difficult finding readers who have the patience to puzzle it out. The cover urges readers to "download the song and read along!" At the time of this review, the link was not available.

Perhaps the audio addition will add some much-needed magic to this dizzying outing, but as a stand-alone book, this offers little appeal.(Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 7.34(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

REBECCA EMBERLEY and her father ED EMBERLEY, winner of the Caldecott Medal for Drummer Hoff, have created the highly praised picture books Chicken Little and The Red Hen for Roaring Brook Press.

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Ten Little Beasties 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry but this book leaves us cold. Sharp and pointy monsters that accumulate and then dissipate (one monster eats the others up) - a countdown, a mishmash of shapes - not charming or clever, and I have a son who loves monsters, thought we'd love this - but no. It's chaotic, not something we will ever want to look at again, and as a Nook purchase, I'm very disappointed there is no way to return it. Am looking for ways to delete it from my Nook library, kind of hate even seeing the cover now that we've read it.
LowelB More than 1 year ago
Fantastic "beasties" eye popping, my kids loved it as a read aloud and they loved the " surprise" ending- the Emberley's have a flair for engaging the reader. We loved the song as well, be prepared to listen to it full blast while your kids make beasties count!