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H. Werner Zimmermann
Illustrated by H. Werner Zimmermann

Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1990. 24pp, laminated boards, $9.95
ISBN 19-5407989. (Alphonse knows ...). CIP


H. Werner Zimmermann
Illustrated by H. Werner Zimmermann

Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1990. 24pp, laminated boards, $9.95
ISBN 19-5407970. (Alphonse knows...). CIP

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 3 to 7
Reviewed by Barbara Camfield.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

These two delightful books are additions to the "Alphonse Knows" series of concept books which includes two other well-received titles, Alphonse Knows ... a Circle is not a Valentine and Alphonse Knows ... the Colour of Spring.

Alphonse Knows ... Zero is not Enough is a humorous way to teach a child to count from one to ten and to recognize the written digits. Alphonse and his companion, a mouse, are preparing the candy bowl for Hallowe'en when Alphonse decides to make sure there are enough candies. The inevitable occurs when Alphonse counts out and then eats the number of candies he expects a tooth fairy, pirate, or witch would like to be given. When the doorbell rings and the bowl is empty, Alphonse has to do some quick thinking to appease the "trick or treaters." Numbers are reinforced by the mouse, who paints the number of candies proposed by Alphonse on his easel. As Alphonse eats the candies, the tooth fairy, etc., appears in a cartoon "bubble" and holds up the appropriate number of fingers. The number is also spelled out in bold lettering at the top of the page.

Alphonse Knows... Twelve Months Make a Year teaches the names of the months by relating them to typical seasonal activities and humorous events. It is New Year's Eve and Alphonse attempts to keep the sleepy mouse awake by recalling the activities of the past year month by month. They remember the skating and sledding of January, kite flying in March, picnics of June and so on. The energetic, colourful illustrations depict the two characters in appropriate seasonal attire and weather conditions. The concept of months and seasons is presented in a lively, cheerful fashion and, as in Alphonse Knows... Zero is Not Enough, is reinforced in several ways.

Bold illustrations by the author and the clear, light-hearted presentation of concepts make both books appropriate for children aged three to seven.


Barbara Camfield, Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa, Ont.
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