Catherine Rayner

Little Tiger Press, 2015

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.95


Abigail the giraffe loves to count but each time she does, she encounters a problem.  Ladybird disappears under a leaf, the leaves, get eaten, Zebra’s stripes keep moving and Cheetah’s spots are way too fast!  Even when she finds something that seems okay and her friends help her, there are problems.  Her animal friends can’t count.  So Abigail teaches them but just as they are getting things sorted the sun goes down.  How will they practise in the dark?

This is a charming counting book for young readers written and illustrated by Kate Greenaway medallist Catherine Rayner who has given us a number of beautiful animal stories including Augustus and his Smile  Little people will love to join in with the counting as they practise theirs and will share her good-natured frustration as she has to keep starting again.

Like many others, I’m a fan of Rayner’s emerging menagerie as each creature comes to life with its own personality with a few strokes of her watercolour brush and its accompanying text. She spends hours studying her subjects so they are just right.  In fact she shares her instructions for drawing Abigail at and the story is read online here.

 Perfect for preschool.

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

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