Begin the New Year with a Board Book or Two

Name Your Numbers
Smriti Halls and Edward Underwood
Walker Books

Using a jaunty rhyming text Smriti Halls introduces little ones to eleven different creatures, each of which offers a counting opportunity and is accompanied by a bit part player (or two). Here for instance is Leopard Evan:

Both words and number symbols for one to ten are used and the final spread has a snappy stand-out surprise, no numerals or number words but a chance to take those counting skills to twenty and beyond. Edward Underwood’s illustrations cry out for youngsters to emulate the subject of each spread be that with some bouncing, trumpery-trumping , growling, roaring or whatever.

One slight snag rears its wings however when Billy Bee states with reference to his stripes, “I’ve got three!” Astute observers may well point out that here the image shows the bee with four yellow stripes and three black ones.

Zebra Won’t Wear Spots
Noodle Juice and Mr Griff
Noodle Juice

Zebra detests spots, so much so that she never wears any clothes, until that is, her pals point out that going nude can be thought of as “rather rude!” There’s a snag though, Zebra doesn’t possess clothes of any kind. So, her friends take her on a shopping spree and after an exhausting day, Zebra has clothing for all occasions. Even then, so unused to being clad is our stripy friend, that she gets all in a tizzy when she has to choose what to wear for a trip to the pool; and as for drying herself with a spotty towel – not a chance: nor will she don a spotty sweater in the park as darkness descends

or join in the game of Twister at Giraffe’s birthday party.

However hard she tries though, there are some spots that simply cannot be avoided …

This board book about an aspect of good manners presented in a rhyming text and accompanied by wacky illustrations of Zebra and her friends will certainly amuse little ones who will love the unexpected turnaround.

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