One-osaurus, two-osaurus, three-osaurs, four...five o-saurus, six-osaurus, seven-osaurus...ROAR!
As its title would suggest, Kim Norman’s One-Osaurus, Two-Osaurus is a counting book with dinosaurs as the thing to be counted. The picture book starts with an image of a child’s bedroom littered with dinosaur toys and numbers. The dinosaurs are counted on subsequent pages, but, before readers can reach the number 10, something big and scary sends all the dinosaurs into hiding. Suddenly, the ferocious “ten-osaurus rex” appears, depicted in shadow, to find the hiding dinosaurs, and the counting game transitions into hide n’ seek. What readers discover, however, is that the seemingly ferocious rex is actually the smallest dino of the bunch and not so scary after all. The rex finds the others, and then they embark on a new game - Simon says - as, on the last page, the tiny rex is revealed to have a name tag that says “Simon”.
The digital illustrations by Pierre Collet-Derby are flat and minimalist, but graphic and vibrant and perfectly fit the cheeriness of the story. The dinosaurs are very cute, and all have a quirky humanizing feature such as a bow tie or glasses. The numbers are large and bold, making for easy identification for children beginning to learn their numbers. The text has a pleasing rhythm and rhyme with a good use of page turns that builds the tension and would be excellent for reading out loud. The use of the word “moisty” on the first page is a rough start, but luckily the text redeems itself with playful and expressive age-appropriate language. The book begins in a child’s bedroom, setting up what seems to be a useful narrative frame, but this does not reappear to bookend the story.
Overall, One-osaurus, Two-osaurus is a cute and simple picture book perfect for a young toddler.
Toby Cygman is a librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.