Count On Us!: Climate Activists from One to a Billion

Barefoot. Sept. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781646866243.
K-Gr 4–This call to environmental action doubles as a counting and alphabet concept book, with entries for numbers 1-10, and then going by orders of magnitude up through one billion. Making the numbers and alphabetical order work means entries include the concrete (“4 demonstrating against deforestation”) to the more metaphorical (“80 questioning’’). X stretches a bit with “10 million X-ing out ignorance” but Z scans well with “1 billion zooming towards the future.” Back matter gives background information on real people pictured (such as Greta Thurnberg and Jane Goodall) and steps to help combat climate change. Solar panels and electric cars are aimed more at adults, but there are plenty of ideas for young readers, such as recycling and riding the bus. Brightly colored illustrations, a diverse cast, and easy-to-scan text all ensure the book lends itself well to story time, while the back matter and opportunity for further conversations will work well in one-on-one settings or part of larger lesson plans on the environment and activism.
VERDICT Combining the standard concepts of counting and the alphabet with newer ones of activism and climate change puts a fresh twist on both. Recommended for general collections.

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