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BOOK REVIEWS


From The Asian Reporter, V14, #48 (November 23, 2004), page 20.

Count on it

One Is a Drummer: A Book of Numbers

By Roseanne Thong

Illustrated by Grace Lin

Chronicle, 2004

Hardcover, 29 pages, $14.95

By Josephine Bridges

Fans of Round Is a Mooncake and Red Is a Dragon, author Roseanne Thong and illustrator Grace Linís earlier collaborations for very young readers, can count on yet another spirited collection of rhymes and discoveries in their latest book, One Is a Drummer.

The Dragon Boat Festival is one of Roseanne Thongís favorite holidays, so itís no surprise that

One is a drummer

One is a race

One is a dragon boat

that wins first place!

A tiny reference to this festival, in English and Chinese, is also hidden in the illustration accompanying another number. Children looking for a challenge can hunt for these words as well as numbers from one to ten.

Some numbers get one four-line poem; some get two. Hereís another rhyme about the littlest number:

One is a tail

and a cool, wet nose

One is a tongue

that tickles my toes

And thereís no stopping the committed counter. How many toes? How many feet?

At the other end of this numerical romp is the big number ten. Itís a tough decision, but itís my favorite, maybe because there are so many ó How many? ó beautiful children depicted in Grace Linís lovely illustration of:

Ten are the stalks

of green bamboo

Ten cool stepping stones

to walk on through

A page of notes for older readers concludes One Is a Drummer. For example, did you know that dim sum means "a little heart" and that these snacks are often served three at a time? You can also find out here how many tiles there are in the game of mahjongg. Happy counting!

To buy me, visit these retailers:

Powell's Books

  Amazon