One Red Sun by Ezra Jack Keats – Book Review

One Red Sun by Ezra Jack KeatsI like reading counting books to my baby since they are quick and teach a useful skill.

After reading a large number of other counting books to Arya, I consider One Red Sun by Ezra Jack Keats a good option for babies and young toddlers.

The front cover shows a bright red sun drawn in decorative style against an orange background.

One Red Sun was originally published as “see-saw number chart” in Scholastic Magazine in 1968. The Viking imprint of the Penguin Group published the book format in 1999. As such, the book is actually more than four decades old. This makes some of the illustrations, while outdated, more interesting for young readers.

The book includes one picture on each page while teaching youngsters to count from one to ten. In order, the images include: one red sun, two stoplights, three children in snowsuits, four birds, five snowmen, six blocks, seven barbershop poles, eight shoes, nine snowflakes, and ten dogs.

Part of the unique appeal of One Red Sun is the fact the images appear in such a old, ornate style. The stoplights have a intricate texture, but have no yellow light. Each barbershop pole is slightly different, but all will be new to most modern children.

There is essentially no text throughout the book. On each page there is a ordinal and text number matching the number of objects. But with no description of the items, One Red Sun essentially forces adults to explain the various objects to young children.

School-age children who are learning how to count will like the different objects and will want to read the book enough times to recognize each item. Younger kids will enjoy the colorful imagery and the quick pace. Arya wanted to stare at most pages for far longer than it took for me to read the number. Although this makes pacing a little tougher for parents, it also provides the opportunity to talk to children about every aspect of the objects on the page.

One Red Sun costs (including shipping) under $6 new and under $4 used from Amazon.