From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–Another showcase for the truly offbeat imagination of the creator of The Scrambled States of America
(1998) and Arnie the Doughnut
(2003, both Holt). Here, Grandpa presents 20 numerals and describes in rhyme how Numbers aren't used just for counting these days./Old numbers help people in many new ways. Flying over a volcano of hot mac 'n' cheese, he displays the usefulness of a ONE's natural physique, as it turns into a trapeze bar, allowing him to swing over and add just the right amount of salt. A TWO transforms into a nifty saxophone for jamming in outer space, as he sits on a crescent moon and plays. A THREE turned sideways can comfort your backside should you ever find yourself taking a long ride on a double-humped camel. Eyebrows in your soup? Dig them out with a SIX–it's a great eyebrow scoop! And so it goes as the book presents lots of nutty solutions to not-so-common situations. The colorful acrylic illustrations are comical, exaggerated, and stuffed with plenty of humorous details. Readers who look closely will find the Wicked Witch of the West and Rapunzel, as well as some bad puns. The rhyme is forced at times and the humor pretty far out, but children should enjoy this goofy book's wackiness.–Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
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PreS-K. The creator of The Scrambled States of America
(1999) and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside
(2000) presents another book of concepts and off-the-charts silliness. Here, the concepts are the numbers 1 through 20; the delivery, as usual, is pure, rollicking absurdity. Speaking in rhymed couplets, Grandpa Gazillion, the proprietor of a junkyard full of numbers, claims that his stock has uses far beyond arithmetic. On the following pages, he demonstrates scenarios in which numbers, which appear as large physical objects, could come in handy. After a skunk sprays its perfume, for example, Grandpa's advice is to "stand on an eleven made of stilts." Most scenes are even more nonsensical: "Don't you hate when your eyebrows fall into your soup? Dig them out with a six--it's a great eyebrow scoop." Some of the rhymes are a bit labored. But the acrylic illustrations are a chaotic spectacle of funny asides and wild, comical circumstances that enfold the concepts as a stealthy side note. An exuberant offering that transforms a math exercise into a slapstick circus. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved