A House for Birdie: Understanding Capacity (MathStart 1 Series)


Poor tiny Birdie has no house. But Birdie does have friends.

Spike, Queenie, Goldie, and Fidget want to help Birdie find a house of his own. Birdie needs a house that isn't too tall and isn't too thin, that isn't too short and isn't too fat, and that isn't too wide and isn't too narrow. Will they find a house for Birdie before the rain falls and the wind blows?

A sweet and simple story about helping out a ...

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Poor tiny Birdie has no house. But Birdie does have friends.

Spike, Queenie, Goldie, and Fidget want to help Birdie find a house of his own. Birdie needs a house that isn't too tall and isn't too thin, that isn't too short and isn't too fat, and that isn't too wide and isn't too narrow. Will they find a house for Birdie before the rain falls and the wind blows?

A sweet and simple story about helping out a friend explains the math concept of capacity — what will fit in a container of a particular shape and size.

Birdie needs a home, one that isn't too big and isn't too small, to keep him out of the rain. Join this little bird and his feathered friends as they look for the perfect home. It won't be easy finding one that's the right size.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Birdie and his four fine-feathered friends have an adventure on their hands as they search for the perfect living accommodations for Birdie, who has no house. During the course of the story, the friends have better luck than Birdie, and each settles into a space that is a good "fit," whether that is a house fit for a tall, thin and narrow bird or a short, fat and wide one. (Not to worry, Birdie makes out all right in the end.) The point here is to teach the young reader the concept of volume or capacity. This paperback is marked as a Level 1 "MathStart" series book. It would have been a great help to get some clarification on the differences between thin and narrow, wide and fat. Without as much as a visual reference, it's hard to tell which is which; it's a concept that would have been better off not taken for granted. The illustrations are fairly simplistic (imagine the way a first grader draws a tree), but the colors are bright, and the book has a feeling of movement. Indeed, the birds fly in a left-to-right progression from the story's start to its end. Readers will find a list of activities at the end of the book; they are written for adults and kids, yet may be of more interest to teachers trying to drive home a point than to kids in search of amusement. 2004, HarperCollins, and Ages 4 to 8.
—Susan Schott Karr
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Although this book is colorful, it misses its goal of helping children to understand capacity. A tiny blue bird searches for an appropriate house with the help of his feathered friends. Each one is a different shape: Spike is "tall, thin, and narrow"; Queenie is "tall, fat, and wide"; Goldie is "short, fat, and wide"; and Fidget is "short, thin, and narrow." As they explore a variety of homes, each companion finds a perfect fit for itself, but not for Birdie. In the end, the other birds build him a home that is just right. Some of the terms used to describe each bird are redundant. The author's goal is to introduce students to length, width, and height, but not all three dimensions are clearly differentiated. Additionally, "short and narrow" is reworded as "nice and thin," which jumps off the page as a value judgment after the narrative has used other descriptive terminology without any positive or negative interpretations. The simple cartoon illustrations are pleasant with endpapers covered by white outlines of a variety of birdhouses. The bright colors are attractive, and the text is accessible to beginning readers, but the explanation of the math concept isn't entirely successful.-Erlene Bishop Killeen, Fox Prairie Elementary School, Stoughton, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060523534
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/17/2004
  • Series: MathStart 1 Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 103,626
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart J. Murphy is a visual learning specialist. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has a strong background in design and art direction. He also has extensive experience in the world of educational publishing. Drawing on all these talents, Stuart J. Murphy brings a unique perspective to the MathStart series. In MathStart books, pictures do more than tell stories; they teach math.

Stuart J. Murphy and his wife, Nancy, live in Boston.

Edward Miller has illustrated A Drop of Blood and What Happens to a Hamburger? for the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. He lives in New York City.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    Math is fun for little ones!

    They are learning math concepts and don't even know it. My 2 yr old loves this book and others by this author. Such a good thing to get their brains thinking mathematically without actually doing math! Wonderful!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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