Countablock
Countablock
View Twenty Classics
Christopher Franceschelli, illus. by Peskimo
ISBN 9781419713743
Abrams Appleseed, 2014.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: cause-and-effect christopher-franceschelli concept-books countablock counting-books nature numerals puzzles science

Countablock
by Christopher Franceschelli, illus. by Peskimo

This exuberant, chunky board book follow-up to Alphablock plays with cause and effect as it moves from one to 10, then counts by 10s up to 100.

With the turn of a sturdy die-cut page, "One acorn becomes... an oak tree" and "Two snowmen become... two puddles!" Christopher Franceschelli and Peskimo build into the text and images the passage of time, a change of seasons or a leisurely afternoon ("Three boxes become... three forts!"). Many of the numbers lead to activities that involve creativity, such as seven pots of paint that become "seven colors of the rainbow" and 10 pails of sand transformed into 10 sand castles. In between 10 and 20 (and the succeeding numbers that increase by 10), text and artwork count out the connecting numerals, one by one. So the page after the 10 sand castles reads, "What comes after 10?" and labels some wave-washed sand castles 11, 12, 13 and so on, up to 19. Husband-and-wife team Peskimo stick to bright, mostly primary and secondary colors. A standout series of images begins with 20 caterpillars that transform into 20 butterflies, filling the sky and alighting on tall grasses. Author and artists turn up the comedy with 40 eggs--39 are the usual white or beige variety, but a larger green egg beginning to crack open stands out in the crowd. A turn of the page reveals "thirty-nine chicks and one dinosaur!"

The 100 puzzle-piece finale brings together the characters and counted objects from the previous pages. More, please!

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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