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Ones and Twos

by Marthe Jocelyn & Nell Jocelyn

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counting & numbers, beginner
list price: $17.99
published: 2011
publisher: Tundra
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Ones and Twos

One bird, two eggs, / One girl, two legs. One bench, two bags, / One pole, two flags. Thus begins Ones and Twos, a most creative book that explores the relationship between singles and doubles in a delightful and engaging manner. The story centres around a day in the lives of two young girls and a nesting robin as they share a special time in a neighbourhood park. Each page extends an invitation for readers to sort and pair objects, not only those arranged within the main illustrations but also items placed inside the thematic borders running along the bottom of each page. Subjects explored include food, clothing, sports equipment, plants, insects and more.

Marthe Jocelyn and her daughter, Nell Jocelyn, have collaborated to create a spirited and stimulating book for young children. Their brief rhyming text leads readers to examine the bright, busy illustrations made up of collages consisting of newspaper, string, paper, fabric and other materials. Who knew that sorting could be so much fun?

Children will return to this book not once, not twice, but on many occasions to fully appreciate its offerings. One book, two eyes... and infinite enjoyment!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2011. Volume 34 No. 3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Ones and Twos

The simple text in this book paired with the brightly coloured collages in each spread will fascinate young readers. Children will be enthralled with identifying singles and doubles on each page as they follow the two friends through their day and watch as two eggs become two baby birds.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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Marthe Jocelyn’s ability to present important-to-learn concepts to the very young has garnered accolades from around the world. Ones and Twos is her first book collaboration with her nineteen-year-old art student daughter, Nell, and, together, they explore numeracy, sorting, and pairing. Each brightly illustrated page invites children to identify familiar objects ranging from kites to socks, from one nest to the two birds sitting in it. Ones and Twos gives little toddlers and their caregivers much to discuss and to enjoy together, and it introduces an exciting new creative team.

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Contributor notes

Toronto-born MARTHE JOCELYN is the award-winning author and illustrator of over twenty books. Her picture book Hannah’s Collections was short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration. Her novel Mable Riley won the inaugural TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Marthe Jocelyn is the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Vicky Metcalfe Award for her body of work.

NELL JOCELYN is the daughter of award-winning author and illustrator Marthe Jocelyn, and she is currently a student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of the Visual Arts and the Photography Prizes from Young Arts New York – one of only two students in the country to win in two categories. Jocelyn has also worked as an assistant teacher at the Arts Alive summer camp in Stratford, Ontario.

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Editorial Review

“This delightful concept book brings visual literacy to the forefront, supported by a minimal text…. The simple descriptive verses … are spot-on to reinforce images of numeracy, sorting, paring, common-object recognition, and the daily lives of young children. Each page or spread is illustrated with creative, engaging collages on paper, textured fabrics, and items … extending the opportunity for learning and discussion…. The charming collages are the stars of the show and will inspire curiosity”
—Starred Review, School Library Journal

“… Jocelyn’s imaginative collages help create a book rich in playful details, with a storyline told through pictures that provide depth to the concepts explored in the text…. Although the text is very spare, words like ‘lone,’ ‘swoop,’ and ‘chums’ provide verbal interest. The variety of colours and textures add dept and fascination to the collage images…. Sophisticated and yet endearingly simple, Ones and Twos can be enjoyed by both very young children and the adults who read it with them.”
—Starred Review, Quill & Quire

“Jocelyn’s charming, intricate collages magically turn cloth, buttons, and other materials into lively, colorful, multidimensional scenes. Children will enjoy the pictures and relate to this day in the life of a typical pre-schooler.”
School Library Journal
“…delightfully child-friendly…There are so many things to see and so many different objects…used to make the pictures that numerous readings will be welcomed.”
“…As a teaching tool this book is a standout, but it also holds it own as a charming and well-illustrated storybook. Highly recommended.”
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“… a book like this is an essential part of the very young child’s library.”
– Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“An appealing and eye-catching addition.”
School Library Journal

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