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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

123 versus ABC, written and illustrated by Mike Boldt. Harper, 2013. $19.99 ages 3 and up

No no, there must be some
mistake here. This book is
about Numbers! We count
and measure and add and
The mistake is all yours.
This book is about lovely
Letters! We make up the
alphabet so you can spell
and read!"

You are going to have great fun with this book from Mike Boldt, a Canadian author living in Edmonton. There is no way that the Number 1 and Letter A can come to a peaceful agreement right from the get-go. Each thinks that the book is meant to be about them! The argument looks like it might go on forever, when an unsuspecting alligator shows up.

One you get my meaning? Turn the page and you see two classy bears, who appear to have arrived in three cars. Then, it just gets crazy! The pages fill with humorous images, and spunky dialogue between the two narrators, 1 and A:

"And what's that? A Jigsaw puzzle being put together
by Koalas and Lions.
A 10-piece Jigsaw puzzle being together by
11 Koalas and 12 Lions. Why don't you just quit?
Then you won't have to count 13

By using two colors for the bolded words, the author makes it clear who is doing the talking. This will make partner reading a lot of fun for little ones sharing it. I can just hear the expression and emotion they will garner for the telling.

Bright color, much commotion and many appealing characters fill the pages! White space allows for brief moments of eye rest. There is so much to see: time is sure to be spent spent counting and recounting, checking every character and discussing expression and reaction and always keeping an eye on the two who lead us through this ingenious mash-up of letters and numbers. 

If you are looking for fun, while still wanting to encourage an interest in letters and numbers with your preschooler, you can't go wrong with this stellar book!

Now, here's Mike to give you a little taste:

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