Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review - One Is a Drummer

One Is a Drummer
by Roseanne Thong
illustrated by Grace Lin
Date: 2004
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 36
Format: e-book
Source: library

This lively ebook shows that the world around us is filled with things to count. Three are the dim sum carts filled with yummy treats, eight are the candles on a birthday cake, and ten are the bamboo stalks growing in a garden. Many of the featured objects are Asian in origin, but all are universal in appeal. With brilliantly colored illustrations, an ear-pleasing text and an informative glossary, this truly multicultural book will make counting a fun part of every child's day!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This counting book, while showing some nice examples of Chinese cultural traditions, is a bit weaker than some of the other numbers books I've read... not least because it could potentially be confusing.

When I read Red Is a Dragon by the same author and illustrator, I was a little confused as to why some colours warranted more pages. In that book, it wasn't such a big deal. In One Is a Drummer, however, the same sort of thing happens, which leads to some numbers having two verses and pages, and others only having one. I really don't think that works for a book about counting, unless you want to teach your kids to count to ten as follows: one, one, two, three, four, four, five, six, seven, eight, eight, nine, ten!

I found the illustrations here just as underwhelming as I did in Red Is a Dragon. They're colourful and adequate, but I don't love them.

Overall, this is a passable counting book, but it isn't great. Its value lies more in the depiction of the Chinese traditions rather than the actual counting... which is a shame for a counting book!

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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