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1-2-3: a Child's First Counting Book Hardcover – September 6, 2007

28 customer reviews

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1-2-3: a Child's First Counting Book + ABC: a Child's First Alphabet Book + Listen, Listen LB
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In a sumptuous companion to her A B C, Jay takes readers on an enchanted journey from 1 to 10 and back again, with help from fairy tale figures. A quartet of self-satisfied frog princes impressively embody the number 4, while a plate of gingerbread men—including one poised for escape—represent the number 6. (Other counting opportunities abound in the backgrounds.) As in the previous book, Jay unspools a story-within-the-primer. One little girl, who has fallen asleep while reading, is transported to the magical landscape on the wings of the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg; this same bird serves as her chaperone as she visits the subsequent scenes as an amazed onlooker. At number 9, the goose is reunited with her precious-metal eggs, and the girl finds herself cast as Little Red Riding Hood and other heroines as the numbers reach 10 and head back to 1. Close attention will reveal other links; for example, the view of Jack's beanstalk (created from seven magic beans) also includes one of the eight rats who figure prominently in the following spread, inspired by the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The pictures are a wonder to behold: Jay's flattened perspectives, gently faded colors, crackle-glaze finishes and lean, angular characterizations vaguely evoke the dreamy, ambiguous narrative qualities of medieval art. And yet the pictures never feel like museum pieces—rather, they're like missives from a universe where it's Once Upon a Time 24/7. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)
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From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—In this beautiful companion volume to Jay's ABC (Dutton, 2003), a child ("one little girl sleeping") dreams that she travels on a large golden goose ("two soaring wings") to visit a variety of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Each place she visits has things to count: "three little pigs," "four frog princes," etc. The text is simple, with only three or four words on each page. The real story is told through the paintings done in Jay's familiar crackle-glaze style of simple shapes, jeweled colors, and soft lines. In each picture, the artist includes delightful details that reward observant viewers. For example, the page that says, "Eight running rats" also includes eight shoes, eight cupcakes, and a tiny view of the beanstalk from the previous page. The girl and the goose can be found on every spread, which adds continuity to the story. Some pages have hints of things to come, like the six beans lying on the table next to the six gingerbread men, foreshadowing the "Jack and the Beanstalk" scene on the next page. This clever picture book will delight the very young as well as children already familiar with the fairy tales.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 3 years
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (September 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525478361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525478362
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nell on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a basic counting book, this colorful presentation also introduces children's stories like Jack and the Beanstalk. The bright, artistic, but not overly busy pictures encourage sharing, counting and relating the pictures to one another - all necessary reading skills. After the counting is done, read the whole fairy tale...there is a list in the back of the book. My granddaughter loves the book and we can't wait to add the extended stories to our reading repertoire.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Spano on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful, enchanting book. The illustrations are superb, the text simple and sweet leaving plenty of time to peruse the details of the pictures. There is a fairy tale theme subtly carried throughout. My 3.5 and 7 year old daughters both love this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mable on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fun for both kids and adults. As with the "ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book", it's fun to look at the pictures and find the other things that also fit in that category (letter for the alphabet book or number for the counting book.) The pictures are pretty and detailed, and the fairy tale theme is appealing. It's fun to reread because we try to find other things we may have missed previously.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Germain on April 14, 2010
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely lovely. It is the best counting book that I have seen in children's literature. The pictures are captivating, and the technique of counting up to 10 and then going back down again is brilliant. Not only is it an important concept for little readers to begin to understand, but the imagery of going "up the hill" and back again harkens back to the hill imagery used elsewhere in Ms. Jay's books. Speaking of Ms. Jay's books in general, they are brilliant! Somehow I came across her illustration of the "Emperor Has No Clothes" (this might not be the exact title) a few years ago which I gave to my daughter. She is 8 years now (with a reading level way beyond her age) and she still loves the book. So do I. The power is in Ms. Jay's artwork! Then, a few months ago I caught a glimpse of "Picture This" (in board book format) in a charming toy store in Madison (or Chatham) New Jersey and immediately snatched it off the shelf. I recognized the artwork right away and purchased the book for my toddler son without need of further thought. Being the 110% boy that he is, he was not so interested in books until I gave him "Picture This." From the moment I first read the book to him he was hooked (along with the rest of the family). We began to notice the games that could be played with the book illustrations. I soon decided to check Amazon for other books written by Alison Jay. Lo and behold ... I found "123" and "ABC". I purchased them both. The three books together make a wonderful set because many of the illustrated themes flow through all three books. They are the core of my son's library and his most beloved books. To my delight he is now interested in other books as well. I want to add one final important point.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 18-month-old son loves this book. It has lots of fun details to look at, and has lots of objects he recognizes. He likes all the animals especially. I really enjoy reading it to him because the pictures are so lovely. It's also fun to tell him a few 30-second versions of the featured fairy tales as we look at the pictures.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have nearly all of Jay's illustrated books, and this one is probably our favorite. I wasn't sure if my 3-year-old son would be as enchanted as I am by the book, given the allusions to Cinderella, Snow White, and The Princess and the Pea (though among many others, Jay also packs in The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, and the Gingerbread Man, all of whom my son enjoys). It has been such a pleasure seeing how he has been drawn into this book by all of the hidden details waiting to be discovered with each reading. The illustrations and the subtleties within are mesmerizing! And it is nothing but fun to see how Jay was able to weave together so many classic storybook characters. This book has resulted in many promises to return to the library so that my son can learn the stories that go along with several of the characters introduced. And then there is the whole counting element of the book - there are obvious and many not-so-obvious items to count on every page (which is fun for a three-year-old to tackle), and I am excited to have a counting book that so fluidly introduces counting backwards from ten. This book is simply wonderful in a whole bunch of ways. Click "add to cart" so that you and your little ones can love it, too!!
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By Cynthia K. Malm on April 29, 2015
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
We love this book! We read it multiple times a week, sometimes daily. The nice thing is that there are lot of things to count in the book so for our nighttime routine I'll read '5 fluffy ducklings' and then we count the ducks, then we can also count the fish, and the lily pads that also equal 5. The pictures are lovely and for my 3 year old that is learning to count this book really keeps her attention. I also like that it counts up to 10 and back down to 1. When she's super tired I can use that to my advantage and by reading softly and counting each character set on my own she's asleep before I get back to 1.
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By J. Reynolds on January 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alison Jay has done it again!

She is just such a wonderful artist. Big, bold, and bright colors used, and she always repeats and connects pictures on each page, so there is always something to look at. Nothing likes those dumb children's books you see out there in Barnes and Noble.

We own almost her whole collection and my daughter LOVES them since she was 6 months old (she's now 2 years and still looks at them every night).

Highly recommended!
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