100 Animals on Parade

2231_cv3Title: 100 Animals on Parade!

Author and Illustrator: Masayuki Sebe

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Reviewer: Yolanda Ridge

ISBN: 978-1-55453-871-3

Lexile Score: 110 (Kindergarten)

Simple and engaging, “100 Animals on Parade” encourages kindergarten students to count to 100 – over and over again.  The book follows groups of  animals (yes, there really are 100 of each) as they parade to the Animal Festival.  Along the way, readers are asked to identify the bear strong enough to carry a piano, the pig that loves carrots, the carpenter beetle with the spinning top,  the circus rabbit with something on his head…

It is the pictures that really makes this book stand out.  And while it would work as a read aloud in a classroom setting, it is best viewed up close with lots of time to examine each animal. In every picture, the reader is asked to count something or find something or laugh along with the characters. With vibrant use of color, author and illustrator Masayuki Sebe has created simple and lovable cartoon animals that draw readers in with their funny details and amusing mutterings.

The final spread shows all 500 animals celebrating at the festival.  But the fun is not over.  On the very last page, the reader is informed that there is a snail, a ladybug and an ant in every scene.  A tactic that is sure to get kids going right back to the beginning to start the count all over again!

Originally published in Japanese by Kaisei-sha Publishing Company, “100 Animals on Parade” will be well received North America.  And the kids who read it and love it won’t even realize they are improving their numeracy skills – the true measure of a good book.