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.