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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you ever tried counting sheep to help you fall asleep? Some people think it works. But there are other ways to count yourself to sleep. How about just counting from one ginormous candy explosion to ten brave squirrels? And then try it backward. Sound like fun? It is, but it really makes you think, and thinking keeps your brain active and an active brain keeps you awake. Is this really a good way to induce sleep? Perhaps it’s something to do to wake up in the morning.
Nan Evenson’s picture book story, Good Night (Not Really): Let’s Count Forward AND Backward, is a clever and fun way to teach young readers how to count forward and backward, at least up to 10. The title is a clincher, making one wonder why it’s considered a ‘Not Really’ good title. Well, like I said, counting is brain work and a working brain doesn’t let a person fall asleep. The author leads young readers through a series of fun-induced numbering skills that will have them chuckling and wanting to dance around with the protagonists, Lisa and Charlie.
I particularly love the “5 weird broccolis” that “suddenly turned into yummy, green cupcakes.” And the “7 wacky swings” – the illustrations say it all; these swings are definitely wacky, but oh what fun! The font used for the text is bold and attractive for young readers and the numbers certainly stand out, each number as unique and different as the image they accompany. The author and the illustrator certainly know how to entertain. What a fun way to learn numbers!