Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Review
School Library Journal
Spectrum Book Club
The Review zone
Looking Glass Review
St.Louis Dispatch
Cincinnati Public Library

Publishers Weekly


"Textile designer Parker makes her debut with this horticulturally themed book that counts to 10, and every page seems designed to elicit an admiring 'Oooo, pretttty.' Dispensing with conventional garden reference points such as earth, sun and sky, she turns her spreads into two-dimensional bouquets, strewing blossoms, branches and vines of no fixed residence against crisp white space; the casual but firm elegance of the array would make Martha Stewart proud. There's a similar deliberate artlessness in her flower shapes, but her utterly luscious colors — lemon yellows, cantaloupe oranges, lipstick pinks and an evocative range of greens ranging from lime to deep avocado — lend the pages a genuine vibrancy and visual depth. After a few pages, the overall effect is not unlike looking at very nice wallpaper, and the numbers themselves, marked by the requisite number of garden- loving, fancifully-patterned critters bobbing and weaving among the greenery ('4 bunnies finding love in the shade,' '5 dragonflies darting between the daisies') seem like an afterthought. For anyone who's slogged through a long, gray-brown winter, however, this may be just the ticket. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Kirkus Review


Positively dancing with fanciful flowers rendered in bright, broadly brushed watercolor, this showcases a textile designer's art with successive scenes of small creatures, from "1 cat purring in the garden" to "10 butterflies flitting among the flowers." Being themselves decorated with leaves, flowers and dotted patterns, the animals blend into their settings enough to offer a series of small but not overly challenging visual puzzles to go along with the counting practice. Though captioned by one-liners that don't always seem to be addressed to children ("4 bunnies finding love in the shade" being the most obvious example), this recalls the art of Elisa Kleven for visual exuberance, and makes a promising young-audience debut. (Picture book. 4-6)

School Library Journal


PreS-K-This visually stunning concept book is set in a lush, blossom-filled flower bed. Hidden among the blooms are creatures to count, all pulsating on a crisp white background. The lively text embraces descriptive words and phrases like "three dogs frolicking in the posies" and "six ladybugs tiptoeing along a stem." Sometimes it is difficult to see the objects to count on a page because of all the busy patterns in the watercolor art, but children seem to take this as a challenge rather than as a distraction. A lovely addition to preschool storytimes about gardens, animals, and spring.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Spectrum Children's Book Club



Reading Level: baby-preschool

Counting in the Garden is the traditional count-up-to-ten counting book. However, it is delightfully different in several ways. Kim Parker brings her background as a textile designer into full force in her stylized flowers in brilliant hues. Her dogs, turtles, birds and butterflies come in colorful prints so the reader has to look carefully to distinguish the animals among the flowers. Preschool and kindergarten teachers will appreciate the figure/ground study for pre-reading skills. Finally the comfortable size, 11 x 8 inches, and quality paper add to the appeal of the book.

The Review

by Tina Velgos


Teach your kids their numbers while getting an early appreciation of how beautiful the flowers in this imaginary water color garden are! Then, take them to your real garden and watch their green thumbs blossom! Create an all-day activity by teaching your kids the beauty of planting flowers and the magic of counting!

It's like a stroll through a magical, watercolor garden. Each flower is detailed and softly painted by hand. A burst of colors of oranges, pinks, reds, blues, and greens burst onto each page. Quaint as a traditional English countryside garden, this book lets kids across North America appreciate the beauty of an outdoors garden while learning their important counting skills--counting in the garden from 1 to 10!

Is this a girlie book? Quite possibly, yes. It's a pretty book. It's a book you never get tired flipping pages, despite memorizing the text several times over! Don't tell your little boy. He is quite mesmerized by the things that grow in your garden--especially in the soil! Find a ladybug and cradle her in your hands for him to explore! Let her fly away and his eyes will grow with delight!

Your kids will appreciate the painted flowers in this book (and you'll get jealous thinking about your garden which is not quite that colorful--perhaps a trip to the local Home Improvement store is necessary after reading this one!).

The author and artist of this book, Kim Parker, is known for her wonderful textile designs with designer rugs, bedding and fabric collections famous throughout the US and Europe. This is her first illustrated children's book and hopefully the first of many!

This talented designer has made counting a lush feast for design-happy parents (and their kids). Not only does it inspire me to grow more colorful plants in my desert garden, it makes me want to take out my watercolors and dabble. Maybe paint another accent wall in my house--throw away the stencils, ladies, painting by hand is the real thing!

If you have pre-school age kids, make this book an after-lunch activity by painting flowers afterwards and braving the real world and going to Home Depot or Lowe's to choose some special flowers for them to plant! Bring the palette to life is what it is all about!

By the way, besides flowers, kids will delight in gazing at colorful dragonflies, cats, turtles, dogs, bunnies, ladybugs, birds, bumblebees, inchworms, and butterflies. Ask your child what their favorite page is, and let them draw their first butterfly and display it proudly on their bedroom wall. Build on this activity all week and see what your budding artists can create! Reinforce counting as they create their own masterpieces.

This will be a treasured book when you feel house-bound. It brings the outdoors in, without an allergen in the air! Perfect for us city dwellers who would like to spend more time outside playing with the flora! But, perhaps stuck with allergies and pollen!

So, dear readers, read this book and get inspired to paint and garden up a storm! You'll be glad that you did. Thanks, Kim Parker, for providing the much needed inspiration and your talent. A little goes a long way. I look forward to reviewing your next book!

Through the looking Glass Children's Book Review


Lets us go into the garden and see what kinds of creatures come to visit. First there is a cat "purring in the garden." Next we see a pair of lovely turtles and after that three dogs can be found "frolicking in the posies." One by one groups of animals come to play, meet, and gather in the garden. This wonderfully colourful and flower filled counting book will give young children who like gardens and the creatures that can be found in them a great deal to look at and to enjoy.

By Nicholas A. Basbanes | Special to the Sentinel
Posted June 12, 2005

Summer, kids' books equal fun


Counting in the Garden, by Kim Parker; Orchard; $16.95, 32 pages (ages 4 to 8): Artist Kim Parker brings her skills as a fabric designer to bear in this intricately detailed counting book that has the look, texture and feel of elegant wallpaper. The theme is the garden, with vibrantly colored creatures waiting to be found among the blaze of blossoms, shrubs, bushes, bouquets and vines. The one cat is easy enough to find, the two turtles somewhat harder, but a little effort will be in order to locate all the dogs among the posies, all the smooching bunnies in the shade, the dragonflies darting between the daisies, or the 10 butterflies flitting among the flowers. Altogether clever.

St.Louis Post-Dispatch

By Sarah Bryan Miller

Children's books for spring



In St. Louis gardens, the hyacinths and daffodils are blooming. And in the children's book department, there's a lovely new bouquet of spring titles to be gathered.

Begin with "Counting in the Garden" (written and illustrated by Kim Parker; preschool to 8; Orchard Books/Scholastic; 32 pp; $16.95), a vivid and appealing visit to a place filled with colorful birds, bugs and bunnies, numbered one through 10. Parker's primary occupation is as a textile designer, and that comes through in fine style in her first children's book.

By Nicholas A. Basbanes

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Myriad topics add up to summer reading fun


Summertime is playtime, with plenty of room set aside for special interests and that most reliable standby of all, imagination. Our selections this month focus on a variety of topics, all sure to please.

"Counting in the Garden," by Kim Parker; Orchard, 32 pages, $16.95, ages 4 to 8. Artist Kim Parker brings her skills as a fabric designer to bear in this intricately detailed counting book that has the look, texture and feel of elegant wallpaper. The theme is the garden, with vibrantly colored creatures waiting to be found among the blaze of blossoms, shrubs, bushes, bouquets and vines, all of them blending in perfectly with their surroundings. The one cat is easy enough to find, the two turtles somewhat harder; but a little effort will be in order to locate all the dogs among the posies, all the smooching bunnies in the shade, the dragonflies darting among the daisies or the 10 butterflies flitting among the flowers. Altogether a clever concept book, nicely rendered.

Picture books on plants help child’s imagination to bloom

Published Thursday, July 28, 2005

Look around you, and you’ll see a sea of flowers, trees, plants and an ocean of green. This week, I have several picture books that celebrate the growing season of nature and that will raise your appreciation to an all-time high!

"Counting in the Garden" by Kim Parker is a look at what lives in and visits a garden. There are ladybugs, dragonflies, birds and more. The first page begins with "1 cat purring in the garden." The page opens up to a full spread of color, and a 3- to 5-year-old would enjoy locating the cat amongst the bright blossoms. My favorite page has "9 inchworms inching toward the petals." Both pages are full of bold flowers. A child will have much fun trying to locate these small, green speckled critters as they crawl on thin stems of each flower.

Cincinnati Public Library

New Stuff for Kids
Fabulous new books for kids of all ages!

Counting In The Garden
Kim Parker

Entertain little readers with Counting In The Garden. This beautiful concept book takes young readers on a journey through vibrant garden scenes with hidden creatures, including ducklings, puppies, bunnies, inchworms, and butterflies. Each page allows the child to count the inhabitants of the garden, from one to ten. Great concept book for Preschoolers.

Young Adults Books

Colorful counting among the flowers
Review by Tasha Saecker

Counting in the garden is a wonderful, warm counting book that counts from 1 to 10. All sorts of creatures from rabbits to bumblebees to turtles are in the brightly colored garden. Because the animals are happily covered in flowers along with the rest of the page, the illustrations add a bit of fun by having kids examine them closely to find the creatures amidst all the blooms and blossoms. This book is perfect for reading aloud to children, because it introduces new words like “frolicking” and “flitting.” Use it in story times on gardens, insects or spring.