Synopses & Reviews
One little girl wakes up to a wondrous fairy-tale world. She spies two dancing feet from the Golden Goose tale, three hungry bears just visited by Goldilocks, and four royal mattresses between the Princess and the Pea. Simple in format, with many objects to count on each colorful page, 1 2 3 is just right for children learning their numbers 1 through 10. As in her ABC
and Picture This
. . . , acclaimed as ?beautiful,? ?inventive,? and ?marvelous,? Alison Jay captivates with this clever work of art, treating readers of all ages to visual surprises, scenes from ten favorite fairy tales, and witty stories-within-stories.
"In a sumptuous companion to her A B C, Jay takes readers on an enchanted journey from 1 to 10 and back again, with help from fairy tale figures. A quartet of self-satisfied frog princes impressively embody the number 4, while a plate of gingerbread men including one poised for escape represent the number 6. (Other counting opportunities abound in the backgrounds.) As in the previous book, Jay unspools a story-within-the-primer. 'One little girl,' who has fallen asleep while reading, is transported to the magical landscape on the wings of the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg; this same bird serves as her chaperone as she visits the subsequent scenes as an amazed onlooker. At number 9, the goose is reunited with her precious-metal eggs, and the girl finds herself cast as Little Red Riding Hood and other heroines as the numbers reach 10 and head back to 1. Close attention will reveal other links; for example, the view of Jack's beanstalk (created from seven magic beans) also includes one of the eight rats who figure prominently in the following spread, inspired by the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The pictures are a wonder to behold: Jay's flattened perspectives, gently faded colors, crackle-glaze finishes and lean, angular characterizations vaguely evoke the dreamy, ambiguous narrative qualities of medieval art. And yet the pictures never feel like museum pieces rather, they're like missives from a universe where it's Once Upon a Time 24/7. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this elegant but highly accessible picture book, a little girl falls asleep with a book of fairy tales open in her hands. She dreams of flying over a bucolic landscape to a land where she appears in a series of fairytale scenes. Each illustration features a number, beginning with one and going to ten, then counting back to one. The luminous paintings offer several challenges: to count the objects named (and other sets of objects representing that number); to find the girl in each scene; and to identify the fairy tale represented by each picture. For instance, in one double-page spread ("3 three little pigs"), three plump pigs look out one window, while a toothy wolf peeks into their home through another. Three teacups wait on a stool nearby, three cupcakes sit prettily on a plate, three cushions are stacked on a chair, and so on. On the last page, a key identifies each of the stories pictured. The paintings create their own magical world through the warm glow of gentle colors, the softness of rounded forms, and the antiqued quality of the crackled glaze. With large-scale illustrations that reward close study, this beautifully designed book will work for individual viewing as well as classroom sharing and discussion. Booklist, starred review
The author of the acclaimed "ABC" and "Picture This" captivates once again with this clever work of art, treating readers of all ages to visual surprises, scenes from ten favorite fairy tales, and witty stories-within-stories. Full color.
About the Author
Alison Jay is the celebrated illustrator of many books for children. She lives in London, England.