9781442407572

Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Two mice put together a stick and rock to make a teeter-totter.  With one mouse on each end, they balance.  But when a salamander wants to join in, the teeter-totter tips, until another salamander comes along.  When one frog jumps in, the teeter-totter really tips, but balance is restored with another jumping frog coming on.  Trouble comes along though when a bird wants to join in too.  For a little while there is balance with all of the animals on one side and the bird on the other.  But then the weight is too much for the stick.  All of the animals except the mice head off to do something else.  The mice?  Well, they still have a stick and a rock…

Stoll Walsh has a way with simple stories that really allows them to shine.  Her use of very basic text allows her books to be used with very young children.  Her art is also simplicity itself with its paper collage on a white background.  She uses great color as the animals join in with a bright red salamander, teal frog and blue bird.  At the same time as she is giving an engaging story, she is also introducing the concept of balancing and how to add objects together to make two sides equal.  A book that offers basic math concepts in such a gentle and enjoyable way is very special.

A jolly picture book that offers equal story and concept for preschoolers.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.