Review Blog

Apr 04 2019

The ultimate animal counting book by Jennifer Cossins

cover image

Hachette Australia, 2019. ISBN: 9780734418852.
(Ages: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Animals, Counting Book. This is not called the 'Ultimate' counting book for no reason - it really does count animals from 1 to 100, beginning with 1 blue whale and finishing with 100 fairy flies. This is Cossin's fourth book about animals (others are A-Z of endangered animals, 101 collective nouns, The baby animal book  and A-Z of Australian animals), with each having a slightly different focus. Not only is this a counting book but the animals are ordered from biggest to smallest. In addition, there are several short facts included about each animal. Cossins' illustrative style is unique: realistic yet playful, featuring true colours and incredible detail. The research that has gone into each page may not be immediately recognisable, but is hidden within the very precise illustrations. For example, many pages depict different species of the one animal (the sea turtle page features leatherback sea turtles, green sea turtles and the Olive Ridley sea turtle). This is a book for children to dip in and out of, flick through alone or share with an adult. It is a superb celebration of the world of animals and the diversity of life on our planet. In her note at the back of the book Cossins says that her goal was to 'inspire children to learn more about the natural world' and to act as a 'reminder of how beautiful and interesting the world around us truly is'. Her dedication to her work, the love that she puts into everything she does and her incredible talent make this a really special publication.
Nicole Nelson

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