reviews and stories about parenting with picture books

Ten, Nine, Eight: A Quiet Bedtime Countdown


It’s not what my son does while we read Molly Bang’s Ten, Nine, Eight (Greenwillow Books, 1983)  that is interesting. It’s what he doesn’t do. My squirmy, wormy, climb-up-on-top-of-the-kitchen-table-when-I’m-not-looking 18-month-old pulls this book out of his bedtime book basket, snuggles into my lap and sits perfectly STILL.

I whisper-read this Caldecott Honor classic in his ear: “10 small toes all washed and warm/  9 soft friends in a quiet room/ 8 square windowpanes with falling snow” counting all the way down to “2 strong arms around a fuzzy bear’s head/ 1 big girl all ready for bed.”

Someday, we will wonder together why there are only “7 shoes in a short straight row,” not 8, and then laugh when we see the cat chewing the missing sneaker on another page.

Someday, we will use the book to work on our numbers, each one in the countdown printed in a big, bold color.


But for now, we are just go to read it and be…still.

Thanks to my former advisor at the University of Minnesota for the gift of this book.

Picture Book House Rating: Read it Again, Mommy!

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