One Is a Lot (Except When It’s Not) by Muon Thi Van, illustrated by Pierre Pratt


51fgROoyMuL._AC_UY218_ML3_One Is a Lot (Except When It’s Not) by Muon Thi Van, illustrated by Pierre Pratt. Kids Can Press, 9781525300134, 2019

 Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2  (just because of the concept)

Genre: Picture Book

 What did you like about the book? The only aspect of this book that I liked (although I did enjoy the illustrations) was what I think the author was trying to achieve–that our concepts of numbers are relative and depend on a person’s perspective. For example, one piece of bread is not enough to feed two ducks but two acorns are too much for one squirrel to handle. This book is not really a story but a series of sentences such as “1 is a lot”, 1 dog is a lot”, “but 0 is just right” and so on.

Anything you did not like about the book. I’m a grown adult and I had a little trouble understanding this “story”–I can’t imagine the struggles for a young child. I appreciate the concept of this book in that numbers (specifically 0, 1, and 2) can be a little or too much depending on your perspective. One sun can be a lot because but two dog leashes can be too much if they get tangled (where one leash would not tangle, I assume). I never understood the concept of “But 0 is just right” throughout this book. Interesting concept but the execution is a little too abstract for young children (and maybe some adults as well).

To whom would you recommend this book? I would not recommend this book.

Who should buy this book? I would not recommend purchasing this book.

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: October 10, 2019

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