by Cybele Young

Kids Can Press, $16.95, 32 pages

Ten young birds are trying to cross a river. One by one they use the materials around them to create a way to get themselves over to the other side. Will they all make it? Author and illustrator, Cybele Young provides readers with a counting book and a life lesson in her book Ten Birds. Young’s black and white pen and ink drawings are extremely beautiful and each bird is uniquely portrayed. Readers will spend hours studying the technical details of the birds’ inventions. The bird labeled “Brilliant” makes a pair of stilts. “Highly Satisfactory” engineers a raft. “Needs Improvement” is the last bird to take his turn.

Readers will be pleasantly surprised when he unveils his practical solution. This book celebrates individuality and creativity. It also shows that labels do not always reflect the truth. When solving problems, using common sense sometimes achieves the best results. It is important for children to learn that even if a solution is simple, it can still be the correct answer. Even very young children can take away a better understanding of numbers and counting from the book. Mastering the life lesson will come with age and more life experience.

Kathryn Franklin