123 Who Comes Next?

Star Bright. Oct. 2022. 12p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781595729545.
Toddler-PreS–This remarkably clever counting book, illustrated in warm, cheerful colors, operates on a deceptively simple premise: along with numerals in counting order (expressed in both words and symbols), each page introduces a new character joining those already present. A boy (1) is joined by a girl (2), then a woman (3), then a pet dog (4), but things soon take a surprising turn when anthropomorphic animals begin showing up. The cast of characters range from light beige to darker gray tones, open to interpretation as readers wish. Adults and children will be delighted as the numbers increase with the turn of a page and the title question is answered—by a pig in a polo shirt, a turkey in a baseball cap, a horse in a sundress, and—in a laugh-out-loud visual beat—an inexplicably charismatic carrot.
VERDICT An essential purchase for all collections.

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