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by Celeste Davidson Mannis

illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung


School Library Journal:

PreS-Gr 2 – This counting book, which follows a Japanese girl as she explores a traditional garden, offers an introduction to haiku and aspects of Japanese culture. The child finds one leaf, two carved dogs flanking the entrance to a temple, three pots of bonsai trees, four startled birds, five tiers on the roof on a pagoda, six sandals outside the teahouse, seven sweet cakes, eight lotus blossoms, nine koi fish, and ten stone lanterns. A double-page panoramic view of the garden at the end allows readers to find and count the objects again. Three lines of haiku are used for each number. Accompanying each poem is a brief paragraph explaining, for example, why a pagoda has five roofs or describing an aspect of the tea ceremony. The book as a whole is elegantly and respectfully presented and the counting aspect is especially well crafted, capturing the meandering focus of a small child. Mannis’s simple verses are complemented by Hartung’s pleasing and evocative pen-and-ink and watercolor art.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA –Marilyn Taniguchi (Reviewed October 1, 2002) (School Library Journal, vol 48, issue 10, p149)


  • International Reading Association Children’s Book Award: Primary Fiction (post-2001 winners)
  • Parents’ Choice Awards – Story Books: 2002


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, Ages 0-8, Kindergarten, Non-fiction, Pre-Kindergarten