♦ This spare counting book is set in Antarctica’s extreme landscape.
Antarctica, home to “icy deserts, mountain ranges, and volcanoes,” also hosts “amazing and unique animals,” 10 of which are explored in the text and backmatter of this simple picture book. Familiar animals such as emperor penguins and orcas are pictured in their habitats, as are less-familiar creatures such as Antarctic krill and blackfin ice fish. Collage-style illustrations place clean, colorful shapes against textured backgrounds to show the animals on the icy plains, “surveying the frosty floes” or “drifting with the turning tide.” The text, set in a large, clear typeface, makes lovely use of language, distilling the animals’ traits, habits, and settings into single, punchy lines full of alliteration, rhythm, and poignant description. Each spread includes the relevant numeral in a large display type and features one species, with the individual creatures large and easy to see and count. Young children will enjoy practicing their counting skills while learning more about an area of the world that captures the imagination. Backmatter offers further information about Antarctica, including its (several!) poles, and about each animal mentioned in the book at a higher reading level that will require interpretation for the target audience.
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review