________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 17 . . . . April 18, 2008

cover Gymboree Numbers.

Illustrated by Christine Coirault.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 2008.
264 pp., board, $7.95.
ISBN 978-1-55470-032-5.

Subject Heading:
Counting-Juvenile literature.

Preschool / Ages 1-4.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***½ /4

cover Gymboree Alphabet.

Illustrated by Christine Coirault.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 2008.
26 pp., board, $7.95.
ISBN 978-1-55470-031-8.

Subject Headings:
English language-Alphabet-Juvenile fiction.
Alphabet books.

Preschool / Ages 1-4.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***½ /4


Both Gymboree Numbers and Gymboree Alphabet are excellent first board books for introducing youngsters to either the numbers from one to 10 or the individual letters of the alphabet. In Gymboree Numbers, each pair of facing pages presents a single number along with the word of a familiar animal, insect or plant material that is being used to illustrate the appropriate quantity.

2 Two birds

4 Four leaves

6 Six fish
internal image

     The book’s design is such that the “countable” things are easily discerned in Coirault’s bright, colourful cartoon-style artwork.

     What sets Gymboree Numbers apart from other such board books is its inclusion of the words for the numbers in four other languages. These words and a guide to their pronunciation appear along the bottom of the spreads.

French German Italian Spanish
six (SEECE) sechs (ZECKS) sei (SAY) seis (SAYCE)

     The penultimate pair of facing pages acts as a review with all 10 numbers and their objects appearing. The final spread provides a chart of the numbers with their four language equivalents.

internal image

     Each page of Gymboree Alphabet focuses on a single letter and provides the letter in both upper and lower case, with the letter then being used as the initial letter of a noun. Each of the nouns is illustrated by one of Coirault’s bright cartoon-like illustrations. The words used to illustrate the letters are of something likely familiar to most youngsters.


Ee Ll Oo Ss
elephant ladybug owl socks 

    A fine gift for new parents and a worthy addition to collections serving preschoolers.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, who lives in Winnipeg, MB, is CM’s editor.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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