Tag Archives: Eric Litwin

Count with Abigail and Pete


Catherine Rayner
Little Tiger Press pbk
Glorious images and colours of Rayner’s silkscreen illustrations evoke the African savannah setting of this story wherein giraffe, Abigail has to go to great lengths to pursue her favourite hobby – counting. The trouble is her numerical targets just won’t stay still:


Ladybird scuttles away, the leaves on the tree get gobbled up, Zebra is in constant motion and Cheetah’s splotches are a definite no – he’s way too fast.


Then kindly Ladybird suggests a field of flowers and all her pals pitch in to help with the count. Their counting skills however, are less developed than Abigails’ so a lesson ensues; but it proves a very long one. So long in fact that night is falling by the time their skills are sufficiently honed but Abigail is not one to give up easily, especially when the night sky is full of twinkling stars –


and they are most definitely not going anywhere in a hurry.
The lovely shapes, patterns and contours of the animals’ bodies make them become real characters in their own right: in particular Abigail’s stature and grace are magnificently portrayed and one cannot help but admire her persistence.


Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Eric Litwin and James Dean
Harper Collins Children’s Books pbk
This book is my first encounter with Pete, the laid back, sleek blue character who always remains upbeat no matter what. Even when as here, the four groovy buttons he loves, pop off his favourite shirt


and roll away one by one. As he says – or rather sings – “Buttons come and buttons go.” Despite the loss of the last button he doesn’t get upset. Why not? Because our feline friend realises that he still has his very own belly button and that too is worthy of a song.


Such a positive message for children, wrapped up in a quirky colourful caper of a story. And, there’s that mathematical element too: this engages the very young in counting, counting down from four to zero, and the idea of subtraction.If you want to sing along with Pete you can find his song and more at www.harpercollins.co.uk/Petethecat


Find and buy from your local bookshop:http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch