From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Perl begins with an outlandish premise: a boy explains to his teacher that, counting himself, there are 93 members in his family, including (but not limited to) 27 owls, 11 dogs, some lions, tigers, armadillos, and frogs, a pygmy hippo named Bernice, Mommy and Daddy, 10 cats, his sister's gerbil, Six goldfish, and my sisters,/Darlene and Winifred. The boy describes what happens at mealtime, in the car, during bath time, and at bedtime. Perl's verses are bouncy and matter-of-fact: When all are finished bathing,/We dry the pets with towels./My sisters mop the bathroom floor/While I blow-dry the owls. The illustrations make what might have been a mildly silly book into a comic masterpiece, with innocent characters that are impervious to the bizarre. Lester adds magical touches like a fish holding up a sign that says No Anchovies when the family is ordering pizza. This is, of course, a counting book. Members of the family are introduced at different times, and kids will very likely want to keep tabs on which and how many animals have been mentioned so far. There's a tally sheet, kept by the teacher, at the end of the story, and readers can go back and forth to make sure she's counted correctly. Lester's visual jokes are a pretty nice reward for doing arithmetic.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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About the Author
Erica S. Perl is the author of the hit picture book Chicken Bedtime is Really Early
, illustrated by George Bates. She writes for Nickelodeon and Noggin and is currently writing for an Emmy-nominated childrens series. This is her second book. Visit www.ericaperl.com.
Mike Lester is a cartoonist with a popular daily Internet cartoon, Mike du Jour, which appears on www.dowjones.com and www.work.com. He has illustrated several childrens books, including the bestseller, A Is for Salad
. He lives in Rome, Georgia. Visit www.mikelester.com.