Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Seven, six, five
on April 29, 2004
It's sort of a "Goodnight Moon" tale, but interesting. The book combines your average counting book (or, in this case, counting backwards book) with a bedtime sleepy story. Utilizing bright colors, interesting characters, and an eye for textures, author/illustrator Molly Bang has created a sweet simple story that does not annoy or condescend to the reader.
An African-American girl and her father count down to bedtime. There are ten toes on her feet. Nine fuzzy friends (including a clever and playful kitty). Eight windowpanes displaying the snow outside. It goes on. Each view of the bedroom is a comforting one. The observant reader might wonder why there are only seven shoes straightened under the crib, only to find that when we observe the five buttons on the girl's gown, the cat is proceeding to happily gnaw on the missing shoe. The delicate interactions between the girl and her father are undoubtedly the most tender parts of the story. Oftentimes we switch in the story from viewing things from the child's point of view (like her toes or her seashell mobile) to looking at the girl as she perches in her father's lap. After some goodnight kisses and a big hug to her furry bear pet, it's off to bed for the sweet sleepy little one. There is nothing in this book that will necessarily grab you by the guts and make you want to give this story to every man, woman, and child you know. It's just a delicately woven lullaby that expresses almost wordlessly the affection that exists between a father and his daughter. From the opening shot of the girl running to be in her dad's outstretched arms, to the final tucking in at the end of the night, the book touches a chord in the reader. It is sweet without overpowering you with its saccharine nature. Adorable without going overboard. It is a beautifully balanced work of picture book art.