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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Otter is the music conductor. He carries the baton, swishing it in time to the music sheet that lies before him on the music stand. An orchestra of animals and their wonderful instruments of choice is preparing to perform, all numerically set. There’s one lemur at the piano, two lions on guitar, three giraffes on double basses and the list goes on until a full orchestra is numbered and accounted for. And let the music begin. Each animal introduced is described briefly and well suited for the instrument it plays and the sounds are phonetically presented, in numerical sequence: one plink for the one lemur on the one piano, two strums for the two lions on their guitars, three plunks for the three giraffes on their double basses and the list goes on.
Hayley Rose’s colorful picture book story, Tap, Tap, Swish: Otter Counts the Band, is a multi-faceted educational tool to teach numeracy to young readers as well as to teach them about animals and various musical instruments in an orchestra (an unusual but enjoyable combination). The illustrations that accompany the introduction to the animal orchestra are vibrant and fun, adding to the delightful rhyming verse that lists the animals, the numbers and the instruments. Each number is accompanied by that number of animals and instruments as well as the same number of sound words to express the instruments being presented. A glossary at the end provides the young reader with some interesting facts about the animals featured, the instruments listed and some simple mathematical equations to build the young reader’s numeracy skills. This is a delightful learning tool for young readers.