Sunday, July 10, 2011

1 is for One by Nadia Wheatley

One of my favourite things is when a young child says "read it again". Here is a mischievous little counting book which fulfills the plea of read it again.

I discovered this book many years ago after Nadia Wheatley visited my school in a NSW country town when her wonderful book My Place (1988) had just been published. I remember Nadia talked about how she wrote this little book for her daughter who often said "read it again".

How does this book work? Well you read all the way through to ten and then it says "Ten is for ten who starts counting again!". Inside the back cover is the same book only smaller. Have you guessed the ending of the second book which also concludes with the words "start counting again."? YES there is yet another teeny tiny book inside the back cover of this one.

Why am I blogging this book? My precious copy is lost. I love to read this little gem to Kindergarten but I cannot find it. I suspect someone else may have loved it and picked it up from my story table at school so I decided to do a little internet snooping. Yippee I found 1 is for One but this is the US edition and while it is fun it is also amazing to see how the words (and illustrations) have been changed. I will quote both here although I am doing the original Australian one from my memory so I apologise if any parts are incorrectly quoted.

1 is for one who starts counting for fun
2 is for two who keeps rats in her shoe
2 is for two who keep mice in a shoe
3 is for three skating fast by the sea
4 is for four for whom life is a bore
4 is for four who find life such a bore
5 is for five who is learning to dive
6 is for six who gets into a fix
7 is for seven cutting stars out for heaven
8 is for eight who leaves peas on her plate
8 is for eight who leaves peas on the plate
9 is for nine drinking blackberry win
9 is for nine hanging clothes on the line
BUT 10 is for ten who starts counting again.

One of the other fun things about this book is watching the illustrations change through each of the three retellings.

I will leave you to ponder the change from 'blackberry wine' over to hanging clothes on the line. I hope one day I find my original copy of this treasure. It came in a little slip sleeve with a different illustrator Helen Leitch.

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