The text of this book is the well-known nursery rhyme, ” 1 2 buckle my shoe, 3 4 shut the door.” You might think that wouldn’t be enough to carry a picture book, but in this case it does.
Hines illustrates the pages with fabric and buttons. “One” is simply a large numeral one beside one button. This theme is continued for all the other numbers. “Buckle my shoe.” shows a pair of red shoes sewn from fabric with a metal buckle. On the opposite side of the page, the little black haired girl sits down and fastens her shoes. Although the illustrations are straightforward, the three-dimensional appearance, bright colors, and detailed stitching attract the eye.
A toddler will enjoy tracing the large numbers with her finger as well as counting the buttons on each page. There is a warm, inviting feel to the book.
The final page is double spread featuring hands and buttons counting from 1 to 10. This would be a marvelous interactive book for a toddler learning to count. Under the watchful eye of an adult, the toddler could use real buttons to put over the pictures and make the counting more engaging and textured. It might even be fun to copy the large numbers onto felt and cut them out.
Simple but unique.