From School Library Journal
PreS-K-This perfectly paced counting book depicts a birthday scene exactly as young children see it. There are energetic guests, lots of commotion, fun, mishaps, gifts, treats, and the inevitable letdown when the party is over. But Surplice ends on a high note, when the main character "shuts his eyes and makes a wish," putting the whole celebration into play once more. Endearing guinea pigs are stand-ins for the youngest listeners, who will practice counting from ten to one and back again with this bright, cheerfully illustrated, and delightful romp.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“And Then There Were None” is the framework here, as 10 little guinea pigs meet a series of (nonfatal) mishaps at a birthday party, reducing their numbers all the way down to 1. The little animals are of different colors and varying hairiness and dress (one wears a tutu, another sports a cape, another brandishes a set of maracas, and so on), but they’re all endearingly tubby and duly party-hatted. The first spread sets the pattern: “Ten little guinea pigs, dancing in a line. / Bump! go the guinea pigs, and then there are . . .” The different phases of the party—pinning the tail on the donkey, eating cake, playing games, popping balloons—result in more and more party accidents. At book’s end, the remaining partyer makes a wish, and all the guinea pigs return, leading us back to the number 10. A lively and especially cute counting book. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Connie Fletcher