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Houghton Mifflin HOU9780152002237 Mouse Count
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The protagonists of Walsh's Mouse Paint return, with a few companions, to bring another basic concept to life for toddlers: this time, the numbers from one to 10. ``Mouse Count!,'' a greedy snake proclaims, and gathers them up until he has filled his dinner jar to the brim. The clever mice distract the snake long enough to tip over the container and run home to safety. Although Walsh's simple cut-paper figures once again display a naive charm and exuberance, her new book may well prove frightening to little ones. The image of the snake carrying a hapless rodent by its tail--``First I will count them and then I will eat them up,''--is an unsettling one. Though the mice do escape, impressionable imaginations already will have been alarmed. Also, the concept of the fleeing rodents ``uncounting'' (reciting backward the numbers 10 to one) is doubtless beyond the reach of the intended audience. Ages 2-6. (Mar.)

PreS-Gr 1-- A slithery snake finds ten sleeping mice that he thinks will make a delizacious meal. He pops them into a jar . . . ``one, two, three.'' But, being greedy, he sees just one more hidden in the grass and goes to collect it. The ten little captured mice outsmart him, however, and--``ten, nine, eight . . . ''--uncount themselves as they scramble from the jar and run home, safe and sound once again. Children will delight in this counting game that is couched in an exciting, original story. They will cheer for the resourceful, bright-eyed, tiny mice as they escape. The torn paper collage and tempra illustrations are lively and depict the story's unerring drama through an unclutterd form and line. Each page displays a neatly framed illustration that complements the progression of this anticipatory story. Readers will be intrigued by the sleek blue snake and his whimsical, earth-toned captives. A concept book that lures children into the learning process through drama and ultimate satisfaction. --Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, OH

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