Friday, February 9, 2024

A Review by Wendy Greenley of How To Count to 1 written by Caspar Salmon, art by Matt Hunt

 There are some picture book titles that make me laugh. The book I'm reviewing today is one of them!

And the bright colors on the cover--ahhh--I had to take this one home.

Title: How To Count To 1

Publisher: Nosy Crow, 2022, Concept book

Author: Caspar Salmon

Illustrator: Matt Hunt

Suitable for Ages: 2+

Themes: Numbers, Humor

Opening Lines: Note: These deadpan lines do NOT show the broad humor that had me laughing


Welcome to a fun new counting book.

Are you ready to start counting?"

Brief Synopsis: The narrator invites kids to count images on each spread. But the images become wilder, and the items you're being asked to locate and find are more clever with each page turn. If you're a rulebreaker--you might even be able to count higher! Note: The library edition of the book has the endpapers partially covered, and this makes the "final" count for industrious kids more difficult.


  • Read this book on the 100th day of school, then ask the listeners why the book is appropriate for this day. 
  • Pair the book with other 100th day of school titles. Suggestions are on the Just Reed blog and Read Brightly website here
  • Practice free printable counting activities from Fun Learning for Kids
  • Have readers create their own "tricky" counting lesson using drawings or items collected
  • Ask readers whether they think the author really wants them to follow directions. WHy do they think this?

Why I like this book: 

While it certainly can be used for math lessons, I'm all about the humor in this book. The narrator's insistence to follow the rules, and the encouragement to spot the specified items meld perfectly with creative, dynamic over-the-top illustrations. 

I'm always interested to know if you've read this book and what you think!
This review is being shared as part of Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday. 

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro - Book Review

     My favorite place to be is outside. Even in winter, I bundle up and go out for my walk.

    Spending this much time outside, and growing up in a plant-loving household means I know the names of the local trees and the book I'm reviewing today is perfect for kids who are like me.

Title: If You Find a Leaf

Author/Illustrator: Aimee Sicuro

Publisher: Random House Studio, 2022, Concept book

Best for ages: 2+

Themes:  Nature, Creativity, Art

Opening Lines

    If you find a leaf

    You could dream the day away.

    It could be a hat on a chilly day."

Why I like this book:

    The way this book sparks a reader's creativity makes it appropriate for a wide age range. The leaf parade would be perfect for little ones and older reader's can make their own leaf-incorporated drawings. While the child and her dog have a dreamy quality, the leaves in the illustrations and vibrant, realistic representations. Using the endpapers, kids can learn to identify leaves as well as take inspiration from the suggestions in the text. What I like best of all is the way the book puts reader's in charge of their ideas. YOU can create whatever you want!


    There are TONS of leaf activities available on the web, so I'll let you choose your own this time!

    The book includes an activity at the end for preserving leaves. I was always a press-between-paper or iron between two sheets of wax paper parent, so I learned something new! If you need more inspiration to create your own leaf drawing, illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi is one of my favorites for drawings that include pieces of nature as well as other 'found objects'. 

Let me know if you enjoyed this book recommendation in the comments! 

My review is part of Perfect Picture Book Friday created and hosted by author Susanna Leonard Hill. The opinion in the review is wholly my own.