Count Your Way through Afghanistan; Count Your Way through Iran
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Count Your Way through Afghanistan
Illustrated by Megan Moore
These are two informative American picture books providing gently neutral introductions to the cultures of these two countries. In each, we count – a spread at a time – from one to ten, learning how to write and pronounce the numbers and finding facts selected to amplify them.
Thus we learn that Iran produces one (yek) national car and their mulberry wood tar has six (shesh) strings, while Afghanistan is bordered by six (shpag) other countries and its flag has three (dray) stripes.
The texts are fine – simple and nice to read aloud, but the pictures tell the difference. Zaman’s of Iran seem barely competent, barely completed and barely committed to their subject. In contrast, Moore shows us Afghanistan in strong outlines, engaging colours and designs, and excellent composition, with a simplicity to match the words.
The pair will make a useful shared introduction to their countries for children made curious by their near-nightly appearances in the news. Best read aloud, though, for the spelling is American throughout. This, of course, makes them ideal material for the desk in the Oval Office – if the State Department won’t buy them, then George W could always try the Salvation Army.