Just another day for the nursemaid, or is it? When she turns her back on her sleeping infants (ten of them at that), soft, cuddly animals (from bears to seals to peacocks to koalas) slip, one-by-one, into the nursery to "borrow" her babies. Follow the escapades, and the disappearing animal-baby pairs, as you sing along using the familiar song, "Ninety-nine Bottles of Milk on the Wall." Only in this counting book for the youngest of young, you'll be singing:
Ten babies asleep in a crib, ten babies asleep.
You take one out and pass it about—
Nine babies asleep in a crib.
Oh, and what about the babies? Where did they go? With the animals of course, to play on all the rides in the carnival down the block. That's where the nursemaid finds them, collects them, and then wheels them home in a ten-seated stroller.
As in Alexandra Day's "Carl" books (Farrar), everyone is having improbable fun. The perky text is based on "a popular old song," and uses rhyme and repetition of phrases. The last several pages, showing the nursemaid and the carnival, are wordless. A lively interactive concept book, cleverly presented to make subtraction fun and interesting.The mixed-medium, flat illustrations bleed across a page and a quarter, giving a longitudinal sweep to the action. A small rectangular picture on the opposite side of the text block shows the animal and baby from the previous page climbing out the window. The warm colors, soft lines, and happy faces of the characters allay any feelings of threat. —School Library Journal