Laurent de Brunhoff has been illustrating the Babar books since 1946, after his father, Jean de Brunhoff, illustrated the first titles a decade before. Since that time, he has created more than 30 books about the world-renowned elephant and his family. He and his wife, writer Phyllis Rose, reside in Connecticut.
Like so many concept books, Babar's Counting Book exploits a popular character's appeal to sell children (and their parents) on an educational tool. Any child who is already hooked on Babar will naturally be drawn to the book, but it doesn't represent de Brunhoff's best work. The textwhich inexplicably changes tenses twiceis uninspired. (Babar's children go for a walk and count one bird, two balloons, three race cars, etc.) Although the elephant and his extended family are always delightful to look at, de Brunhoff doesn't appear to have given these illustrations a great deal of thought, and the colors look washed out. (37)
PreS-K A pedestrian counting book. In this oversized book, Babar sends his three children and their friend to count everything they see. They count birds, balloons, hippos, alligators, etc., until they have counted to ten. Babar then shows them how to count to 20. The watercolor illustrations are pleasant, the colors clear and pleasing, but there are many better counting books available. Mary Jane Kibby, Amherst Public Library, N.Y.