Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Counting through the Day

Counting through the Day written by Margaret Hamilton, illustrated by Anna Pignataro (Little Hare Books/Hardie Grant Egmont)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781760124526

Reviewed by Liz Ledden

The sweet opening line ‘One cuddly teddy on a brand new day’ sets the tone for this rhyming counting book for the very young. Told from a child’s perspective, it captures the heightened imagination and sense of wonder of early childhood. Snacks, backyard adventures, rest time and craft are all covered during a well-rounded day full of discovery.

An unusual aspect of this book is that the counting rapidly accelerates beyond twelve, leapfrogging from hundreds to thousands to millions, highlighting the enormity of the outside world (raindrops! stars!). The image of the protagonist (who is pleasingly gender-neutral looking) and their pets gazing out at the night sky hints at life’s endless possibilities. The story then culminates in one special thing, drawing the child back into their secure, inner world.

Pignataro’s gorgeous illustrations perfectly complement the text, alternating between energetic moments and contented scenes, and reflecting the loving bond between child and carer. The busy endpapers alone would keep a young reader mesmerised, spotting all the animals and objects from the child’s day.

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