HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Ten Tiny Turtles: A Crazy Counting Book
Author and Illustrator: Paul Cherrill
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1995
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Cherrill, Paul. Ten Tiny Turtles: A Crazy Counting Book (published in 1995 by Houghton Mifflin). In this simple counting book, different creatures represent each numeral from one to ten, with rhyming text. “One playful dog squirting water at the cat. Two rabbits dancing–how about that.” And so it goes through four bottles of pop for the chicken race winner, five fluffy sheep pretending to be clouds, six slim cats standing tall and looking proud, seven slimy worms wearing sunglasses, and eight spotted fish playing hockey, up to ten tiny turtles. Each number is on a separate page in appealingly wide, watery brushstrokes that take up a quarter of each spread.
When author and illustrator Paul Cherrill decided to create a counting book, he wanted the language to be as playful as the art, which has been described as “rough-hewn but urbane.” So the animals’ activities are described by silly rhymes in hand-lettered text that will appeal to children with a rhythmic beat that will have them chanting along while the zany illustrations will make them laugh out loud. We checked this book out of the local library when our older son Mark was learning how to read and how to recognize numbers for extra practice. He liked it. It also served as a complement to his science studies by offering opportunities to discuss the different animals.