Everyone Counts

Knopf. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525646204.
PreS-Gr 1–When a group of animals decide to transform an abandoned mall into a beautiful new zoo, they learn the valuable lesson that everyone has something to contribute. The work begins with two burly rhinoceros demolishing the mall; but when a group of eager insects try to join their crew, the cantankerous rhinos call them pests, and tell them they are too small and that they “don’t count at all.” The construction continues with lemurs, bears, elephants, etc. all building an amazing zoo, which even includes a fantastic water slide. Everything comes to a head when the pugnacious rhinos declare the slide their personal property. The banished bugs from earlier choose this moment to make themselves known and suffice it to say, the rhinos are abashed and soon everyone is having a rollicking good time. Sierra takes on numbers and bullying in a playful manner that is well-suited for young listeners. The rhyming text coupled with detailed illustrations make for a fun storytime read.
VERDICT Kids will enjoy poring over the artwork and the charming end pages, which are replete with silly number puns told by the bugs.

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