Counting Elephants (Dawn Young)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Counting Elephants, written by Dawn Young and illustrated by Fermin Solis, a mixed-up tale of math and magic.

Two characters, the Counter and the Magician, welcome the reader to their story, but immediately disagree as to why they’re there. The Magician was under the impression that the story would be about magic (he’s dressed in his top hat and cape for the occasion), but the Counter insists that their purpose is to count the elephants surrounding them. She begins, but is immediately foiled by the Magician, who transforms one of the elephants into a frog! As the Counter attempts to begin the count again and again, the pesky prestidigitator changes another elephant or two into a jar of peanut butter, or jelly, or a puppy! How will the Counter ever get this ridiculous tale back on track?

Cute. This highly silly story will definitely amuse young readers; the comedy is lighthearted, unexpected, and appropriately madcap. Less functional is the script-format dialogue, which is often out of sync with the artwork around it. Speech bubbles or dialogue with two distinct visual formats for the characters would have been a lot more helpful in differentiation between the two. Also, those looking for an actual book about counting will be disappointed – the story features little to no actual lessons in numerals or values. The cartoonish artwork is fun, however, and captures the silliness with bold colors and expressive characters. The length is fine for any age, and JJ enjoyed the Magician’s antics. Imperfect, but delightful nonetheless! Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)