Rocky Mountain 123s by J. Asnong
Asnong, Jocey. Rocky Mountain 123s. Rocky Mountain Books, 2017.
Though ultimately a basic counting book, Rocky Mountain 123s is a wholly whimsical and entertaining board book. Jocey Asnong, inspired by the beautiful surroundings of her home in Canmore, Alberta, takes readers on a numerical romp through the Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountain 123s perfectly accompanies Asnong’s 2016 board book Rocky Mountain ABCs, with both books using the action and adventure of the great outdoors to teach the most foundational lessons to children.
Though there is no overarching narrative, a page is a little story unto itself. Each page focuses on one number, with the numbers counting up sequentially from one to twenty. There is a short, simple sentence describing the “story”, with a colourful illustration to match. Using both animals and people as subjects, Asnong situates them in a variety of outdoor activities and locations around the Rockies, which she identifies in a small side text. “Fifteen footprints are made in the snow” has a girl tromping across Lake O’Hara in her snowshoes, while “Nine goats climb a hard line” shows mountain goats scrambling up Maligne Canyon. Readers will be able to easily identify and count the number items on the page - “Twelve tents light up the night” has twelve easily countable tents perched around Mount Robson. The number is also numerically written out in bold print and colour to help readers connect the illustration to the number.
This is a delightful book, and is highly recommended. However, as it is a board book, it would be most appropriate for public libraries.
Highly Recommended: 4 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Andrea Quaiattini
Andrea Quaiattini is a Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta’s JW Scott Health Sciences Library. While working as a camp counsellor, she memorized Mortimer and The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch as bedtime stories for the kids. She can still do all the voices.
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