123 Seattle and 123 Atlanta are part of a charming series of board books for young children just beginning to learn their numbers and to learn about the world around them. The series take a look at various cities around the US, and count various icons in each.
For example, in 123 Seattle: A Cool Counting Book (Cool Counting Books), number one is Mt. Rainer. Number six shows six ferries crossing the Puget Sound, and number seven shows 7 different kinds of airplanes from the Museum of Flight. 8 pictures 8 salmon swimming upstream at the Ballard Locks.
In 123 Atlanta, 10 is the Fountain of Rings showing 10 fountains in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. 3 showcases Atlanta’s 3 major-league sports teams, the Braves, the Falcons and the Hawks. 6 pictures 6 frosted orange shakes from the Varsity Drive-In, which is the largest in the world.
The illustrations are bright and blocky, and of course board books are perfect for little hands. Each page just shows the number and the pictures, but the last page of each book explains each picture, tells where the item pictured is located in the city and why it’s famous, and then gives conversation starters. For example, the picture of the ferries asks if you’ve ever ridden a ferry? When and where? The picture of the salmon asks, Do you know why salmon swim upstream?
I can picture a grandparent giving this book to a child who lives in a different city, to showcase the city where grandma and grandpa live. Or, it would be fun to give a child this book and then together go to all the different places pictured. The concept behind them is terrific, and opens up a way to learn about more than just counting, but to introduce them to the wider world beyond them.
I was sent the two books I’ve talked about, but the series includes books on San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boston, and more. There’s something for everyone, whether you have a personal connection to a particular city or simply want to introduce your child to some of our nation’s geography.