DadisthenewMom reviews “My First Number Book” by DK Publishing, Inc.
My First Number Book is a board book written in the tradition of pre-reading image-heavy firsts: abc’s, 1 2 3’s, colors, etc. The reader is taken on a journey from numbers 1 to 10 with stops at the numbers 20, 50 and 100. Each numeral is represented by bright, inviting pictures on a theme: a cuddly cat for number 1, green tree leaves for number 8, an assortment of soft teddy bears for number 20. The penultimate pages recap counting and introduce simple addition before the finale as the cast takes its bow on the last page.
Ultimately, though, My First Number Book is found wanting. Characters are introduced with little or no back story. Readers are obliged to create for themselves the particulars of a character’s emotional arc. A cat staring sadly into the middle distance is introduced on the first page, and 28 pages later we see the same cat frolicking in a wicker basket with no mention of how the cat overcame it’s ennui, let alone where it found a wicker basket. Perhaps the cat took up basket weaving and thus found purpose in it’s life? We’ll never know. The book makes no effort to bind these characters and situations into a cohesive whole, or into our hearts. It’s predictably linear plot development (5, 6, you guessed it, 7) and repetition of the same old tired players (10 different bears shown twice for 20? That’s bush league) tells me that this is a book, contrary to what it’s title implies, that I simply cannot count on.
My First Number Book is just one number: Number Two.