How To Two

illus. by David Soman. 40p. Dial. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525427841.
PreS-Gr 1—Soman provides a look at how children spend a day at the playground. He starts with one young boy who is having a wonderful time flying down the slide by himself. The simple text describes this image as "How to one." As the story develops, each page shows an increase in the number of children interacting together and the text remains simple: "How to two…. How to three" and so on until 10. The illustrations portray children of differing genders, skin color, hair color, and clothing type. As the numbers grow, the activities begin to change. While a seesaw is great for two, digging in the sand is much more suitable for five. The illustrations keep the story moving and allow for readers to have conversations about what is going on. After the book reaches 10, the original protagonist heads home alone and it begins again. This time, "How to two" depicts the boy and his mother or caregiver reading a story together.
VERDICT Recommended for general purchase for most picture book collections. While many will see this as a counting book, it is also a delightful tribute to the sheer joy and innocence of childhood.

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