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At the Edge of the Woods: A Counting Book Hardcover – September 1, 2002

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With lilting, alliterative rhymes and the title acting as a refrain, Cotten (Snow Ponies) invites readers to spend sunrise to sunset at the perimeter of a forest, a landscape that Cartwright (Mister Potter's Pigeon) fills with ever-increasing groups of industrious and convivial inhabitants. Around midday, "At the edge of the woods, the breezes blow,/ buttercups and clovers grow/ Five buzzy bees zoom to and fro/ at the edge of the deep, dark woods." (The featured numeral appears on each spread.) Every one of Cartwright's vignettes exudes good cheer as he introduces various additional elements from the text the clover looks plump and delicious, the bees wear bright smiles and jaunty stripes as they perch atop buttercups. He distills the natural world down to simple, rounded shapes, giving them a dimensional quality of cut paper or collage. His knack for picking effective contrasting colors warm lavender, in the case of the clover adds visual punctuation to a palette dominated by greens and browns. The escalating count culminates with the march of 10 tiny ants; twilight rouses "a big, burly bear" who sends everyone scurrying into hiding (at the edge of the woods, of course) but not before a recap of all the characters and their numerals. The intruder turns out to be such an unassuming fellow, however, that readers will likely get a giggle out of the other animals' hair triggers. Ages 3-6.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-A thoroughly delightful concept book. Repetition and rhyme celebrate nature and numbers as Cotten and Cartwright combine talents to create a clever counting book with a chipmunk, fawns, foxes, lizards, bees, blue jays, mice, sparrows, butterflies, ants, and one big bear. Children will enjoy joining in on the refrain, "at the edge of the deep, dark woods." Even when hiding from the bear, the joyful creatures are more cautious than fearful. Each spread presents a number, supportive text in sharp contrast for easy reading, and animals to count. At the end, all of the groups come together; on the last spread, they hide from the bear, creating yet another counting challenge. The stylized, colorful illustrations support the text with tantalizing texture as they completely fill the pages with variety sans clutter. Libraries with too many counting books should toss out the old and tired to make room for this one.
Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805063544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805063547
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My toddler son has spent hours glued to our backdoor window, which opens on our modest suburban backyard, watching birds, squirrels, and deer. Now he is glued to "At the Edge of the Woods" where he sees all of his wild friends beautifully illustrated, doing exactly what the real creatures do. He particularly loves finding them when they are hiding in the woods, and points again and again to make me name them as he learns to say the names himself. Even though the illustrations are stylized, the expressions and activities are wonderfully in keeping with the true lively nature of the animals. I love reading it to him - singing, really - Ms. Cotten's text is enlivened by internal rhythms and the natural musicality of the words themselves. She chooses words that are simple yet unexpected, demonstrating a richness of vocabulary that I have not seen in any counting books, and too few story books. I know this is one of the books (Ms. Cotten's "Snow Ponies" is another) that my son will eventually be reading aloud to me, because the quality of the prose, and the creative hide-and-seek with the animals, will continue to capture his attention and imagination as he grows.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This charming counting book combines the drama of story (watch out for that big burly bear!) with a lyrical counting rhyme that invites singing as the numbers of animals multipy at the edge of the deep dark woods. Cartwright's cheerful illustrations are perfect for preschool storyhours and large enough for group sharing. A wise selection for teachers, librarians, and families with young children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kellyb on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Two things I like in books 1. Illustrations so vivid and glorious that my son sits, silently, taking it all in. 2. A story so simple and fun to read, and illustrations so interesting, that he can't help but point with excitement at the creatures and says "Read it again Mommy" when we are done.

This book did both. The description has it for older, but my 29 month old son loves loves loves it!
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