Ten on a Twig – written and illustrated by Lo Cole

Ten on a Twig – written and illustrated by Lo Cole, Sourcebooks, 9781728215938, 2020 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

What did you like about the book?  This is a very cute rhyming and counting book about 10 little birds. Or actually, a counting down book, as it starts with 10 birds and then counts down to 1, as their combined weight snaps off bits of the twig on which they are perched! Where are all the twig bits going? Of course, to a new nest where all of them end up huddled in a big, happy heap. The rhyming is pretty jaunty and rolicking, if not always exact. It would be fun to read and have the listening child chime in with the correct number.

Adding to the fun are the birds themselves. They all have exactly the same simple and sturdy look: a round body and a uniquely-shaped tail, with half-circles to represent folded wings and a small, triangular black beak. A wide assortment of bright colors and their graduated size helps distinguish them and also makes it clear that as we grow closer to 1, the birds get smaller. Meanwhile, the pages get bigger! The first and biggest bird is scrunched into 2 inches, but as more of the trig breaks and the size of the page grows, we see a long parade of friends walking off (toward the aforementioned nest, of course).  It’s all very stylish and looks like fun!

Anything you didn’t like about it? No. I did wonder if it would last longer as a board book. The paper is heavy and glossy, but the targeted age group can be ham-handed.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Very young readers and adults who want to work with them on counting skills. Not recommended for those who want actual information on birds!

Who should buy this book? Preschools, elementary and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books or if you have a counting book area, it could go there.

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

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: October 15, 2020

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