1-2-3 Peas
1-2-3 Peas
Keith Baker
ISBN 9781442499287
Little Simon/S&S, 2014.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: 1-2-3-peas concept-books counting keith-baker

1-2-3 Peas
by Keith Baker

After teaching children their ABCs with his stellar L M N O Peas, Keith Baker now models how to count from one to 10 and then (by tens) to 100 in this board book edition, just right for toddlers. And once again, he tucks a ladybug into each double-page spread.

A lone pea stands on top of the numeral one with a telescope to kick things off: "One pea searching--look, look, look," and a pair of peas, perched on the numeral two, are fishing ("hook, hook, hook"). They cast their lines near three peas, each in his or her own boat (one wears a ponytail): "row, row, row." Many examples demonstrate teamwork: the peas plant, do puzzles and dance together. The delight is in the details. For "Eight peas racing--dash, dash, dash," one's a clear winner, four cluster near the finish line, a pair run past the figure eight, and the last lags due to a lost shoe. The author-artist creates a clever transition from 10 to 20 with "Eleven to nineteen--skip, skip, skip!," and traces a light blue path of three peas jumping rope, and skipping from numeral to numeral.

Children will especially enjoy counting the peas on the larger numeral spreads. For 30 ("Peas honking--beep, beep, beep!"), the green heroes ride tandem bicycles, go-carts, sports cars, taxis and trucks. They each hold a numbered pennant from one to 100 for the penultimate spread, then invite children to start all over again ("Ready? 1-2-3..."). And they will, with gusto.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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