Count and See
MacMillan Publishing Co., 1972
If you are familiar with the works of Ms. Hoban, then you already know how totally cool they are. An artist and photographer, she used her knack for composition with a camera to create kids' books that very much capture the essence of the era. Her books use inner-city graffiti, cute retro kids in bell bottoms, lines of trash cans and other ordinary objects to portray concepts like colors/shapes, push/pull and, in this case, numbers. That pseudo-modern feel of the seventies is abundant, while the black and white photographs are filled with nooks and crannies that make the moments come alive.
A slice of watermelon shows 20 black seeds, stark against the white of the inside flesh. Nine fireman's hats lined up -- each marked LADDER 9 -- make counting a part of everyday life. One fire hydrant creates a single digit that stands out, alone on the street. An artist in the truest sense of the word, the woman spent the last 23 years of her life living in Paris and was sister to writer Russell Hoban who created the popular series Frances based loosely on the lives of his own children.