Judging books by their covers? Not cool. Usually. But a few weeks ago my husband grabbed a library book off the shelf because its fun bright cover design. I now consider it one of his most astute choices ever.
I am a word-lover. I know that illustrations can be important to and accentuate a story but even with children's literature I generally I look for and value interesting word play far more than I do pictorial representation (see my last Whatcha Readin' review: though visually that book is perfectly adorable, I nevertheless read and adore it because of its poetry, not its pictures).
But Alison Jay's counting book? Oh. My. Goodness.
If you can count to ten this book's words will not shock, inspire, nor teach you a thing. (1, 2, 3, 4... nothing new there.) It's worth a read, though, for the PICTURES.
This is how much I like this book: Uli will be napping and I'll be thinking about what grown-up things I can do while she's down. But then, rather than drinking some coffee, going potty by myself, slamming a shot of whiskey or getting a tattoo I instead pick up 1 2 3 and pour over each picture.
I find myself smiling at the beautiful details on each page and wishing I were the little girl in the illustrations, flitting from one fairy tale to another (starting at 1-10 and then back down from 10-1).
To spazz out like me and drool over this book as I am, you'll likely need to be familiar with typical European fairy tales (the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, the Princess & the Pea, etc.) but even someone unfamiliar with the stories will appreciate how Jay introduces carefully into the pictures, adding an object or character in the background of one picture then focusing on it in the next. It's so much fun to see the tales blending into one another, each part of the same exciting (and beautiful...seriously beautiful!) landscape.
I'm debating whether or not we should buy a copy for our home or just re-check and re-check it out from the public library. Free is a good price for us right now, but what if now everyone rushes out and puts it on hold?
I think I'm going to ask my friend Amazon to send me my our own private copy... (You should consider doing so too!)