Noni the Pony Counts to a Million by Alison Lester

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve

When I see books like the Noni series, I cannot but wish such gems had been available when I was a child.

Today there is a wealth of wonderful children’s books; offerings for all, from babies to young adults.

It is the much-loved books by Alison Lester that justly belong to this ever-increasing number. Her Magic Beach, Imagine, and My Farm are classics now, and the four Noni books are fast becoming a sought-after part of the collection.

The latest in the Noni series, Noni the Pony Counts to a Million, is a delightful introduction to counting for children aged one to four. Basic concepts of number are made to be fun and engaging.

The pictures, always an important feature for little people, are clear, uncluttered and endearing, using puppies, butterflies, fish and spots on a horse!  Larger numbers are pictured with cars on a busy highway, stars in the night sky. They are on pages that are illustrated in soft and calming colour, a characteristic of many of Alison Lester’s books.

Rhyming is widely accepted as an important step in language acquisition so this rhyming story has instant appeal. Children recall rhyme more easily than straight prose forms.

Already her books have approached nearly two million in sales so Noni will significantly add to this! It has all the charm and attractiveness that will ensure that will be re-read countless times.

It is no wonder that she has received multiple accolades and wide-spread praise for her contribution to children’s literature. She has been featured on a stamp as an Australia Post legend, and in 2019, was on the Australia Day Honours List. Well-deserved recognition, certainly.

Patricia Simms- Reeve

Noni the Pony Counts to a Million

[2021]

by Alison Lester

Allen and Unwin

ISBN 978 176052 439 5

$24.99; 20pp

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