Okay, I promise we are actually almost done with the Bright and Early Board Books, but here is one that is a little different. 1961’s Ten Apples Up on Top by a certain doctor, written as Theo. Lesieg since Roy McKie did the illustrations is on the surface about learning to count to ten. However, there are subtle undercurrents outside of the main counting theme that revolve around arrogance and one up’s men ship. The tale features three central archetypes, a lion, a dog and of course a tiger.
As the title makes no secret about the animals put apples on their heads beginning with one and working their way up to ten. The lion and dog are pretty friendly about the whole thing enjoying healthy competition as they take turns putting more and more apples on their heads. However, when the tiger pops up he already has five apples up on top and changes the whole tone of the game with his tiger aggression (after all he did have a tiger mom). As usual I will not spoil the ending but I will as always give a hint, it has a lot to do with the title.