By Steve Engel with Illustrations by Alexander Petersen
Craigmore Creations, $17.99, 32 pages
Instead of counting on fingers, Tracks Count by Steve Engel counts toes. The toe tracks of a variety of animals from all over the world are set before budding nature enthusiasts in numerical order from zero through ten. Reading this book will stimulate learning on a variety of levels. At the most basic it is a counting book from zero through ten, but animals only have up to five toes on their paws so simple addition is required for numbers six through ten. The numbers and paw prints are accompanied by charcoal sketch drawings by Alexander Petersen that depict the animal in its natural habitat. At the higher level, if a child wishes to learn more (for example how fast the animal runs, its Latin name, or what it eats) a small blurb about each animal can be found at the end of the book in “animal facts.” Both author Steve Engel and Illustrator Alexander Petersen are locals to Portland Oregon and are educators. This counting book is the third in the Little Naturalist series designed to encourage young children to take an interest in nature from an early age.
Reviewed by Rachelle Barrett