Review of One Golden Rule at School: A Counting Book

One Golden Rule at School: A Counting Book
by Selina Alko; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp.    g
6/20    978-1-250-16381-3    $17.99

Within the familiar rhythms and routines of a school day, viewers count from one (“One backpack”) to ten (“Ten chickpeas lined up for lunch”) and back down again (“One great day at school”). From classroom stations (“Six blocks stacked up tall”), to physical activity (“Five poses”), to daily rituals (“Three quick claps”), a diverse and inclusive classroom of cheerful children and their teachers busily engage in a variety of school activities. A double-page spread showcasing the class gathered on the rug emphasizes the importance of the titular “One Golden Rule,” and a classroom poster reminds students, “We are one community.” Using both single pages and spreads, the book effectively highlights each number; additional smaller labeled details (nine grocery items, gold coins, grapes) further emphasize each page’s number. Materials often found in a classroom (index cards, graph paper, paper clips, etc.) are incorporated throughout Alko’s acrylic, watercolor, and pencil illustrations. With its “do unto others” reminder wrapped in a creative counting primer, this is an engaging school story readers can count on.

From the July/August 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Emmie Stuart
Emmie Stuart
Emmie Stuart is a school librarian at the Percy Priest Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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