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Bean Thirteen

Overview

Ralph warns Flora not to pick that thirteenth bean. Everyone knows it’s unlucky! Now that they’re stuck with it, how can they make it disappear? If they each eat half the beans, there’s still one left over. And if they invite a friend over, they each eat four beans, but there’s still one left over! And four friends could each eat three beans, but there’s still one left over! HOW WILL THEY ESCAPE THE CURSE OF BEAN THIRTEEN?!

A funny story about beans, that may secretly be about ....

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Overview

Ralph warns Flora not to pick that thirteenth bean. Everyone knows it’s unlucky! Now that they’re stuck with it, how can they make it disappear? If they each eat half the beans, there’s still one left over. And if they invite a friend over, they each eat four beans, but there’s still one left over! And four friends could each eat three beans, but there’s still one left over! HOW WILL THEY ESCAPE THE CURSE OF BEAN THIRTEEN?!

A funny story about beans, that may secretly be about . . . math! Sometimes you can divide, but you just can’t conquer (the bean thirteen, that is).

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
When two bugs named Ralph and Flora pick beans for dinner, we are led into some fun with arithmetic and division. For when they divide the beans, the thirteenth is left over, even when Flora invites two friends to share. By the time they make five piles for three guests, there are three beans left over. But when they ask Rocco over, if they give him the three leftovers, he will have more than the others. How the puzzle is solved makes for an amusing ending to this perplexing division problem that kids can try out for themselves. McElligott uses pen-and-ink to create the buggy characters and digital manipulation to add gestures and intense colors. The result is a sequence of scenes showing the beans in their varying, but never eaten arrangements. Visual humor enhances the lesson about sharing along with a bit about sets. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
In this humorous introduction to the concept of division, 2 bugs gather 13 beans and try to devise a way to share them evenly. Flora and Ralph think of several scenarios but in the end they still have "bean thirteen" left over. Even inviting their friends for dinner doesn't resolve the problem. Whether they plan on one guest or six, the beans cannot be arranged into equal portions. Then Ralph accidentally knocks the beans to the floor as their company arrives. He places all 13 into one bowl and each guest takes as many as he or she would like to eat. This resolves the problem, but leaves Flora and Ralph wondering who ended up consuming unlucky "bean thirteen." The story's pacing and the dialogue between the two bugs help children analyze the situation and follow the different possible grouping solutions. The large, limalike beans are a great visual aid and are easy to see when the book is read aloud. Done in pen and ink with digital effects, the cartoon illustrations feature bright hues and slightly off-kilter perspectives that will appeal to children. Youngsters will undoubtedly enjoy this funny tale; teachers will truly appreciate the connections it makes to their curriculum and the use of manipulatives in math.
—Maura BresnahanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The "oddness" of prime numbers is driven home in this delightful tale of two bugs and their bean dinner. On a foraging expedition, Flora insists on picking just one more, even though Ralph is vehemently against having 13 beans, an unlucky number. The two perfect piles, and the one leftover bean, seem to prove him correct. But Flora is quick with a solution-call a friend and divide the beans into three even piles. Still one bean is leftover. More and more friends are invited, but that unlucky bean remains. What's the solution? Serve the beans family style. Flora invites the guests to take what they wish, and every bean is eaten. The only question left for Ralph is, "Who ate bean thirteen?" McElligott's imaginative pen-and-ink-and-digital illustrations feature brilliant hues and humorous bugs with a large vocabulary of body language. Pair this one with Elinor J. Pinczes's A Remainder of One (1995) to show just how unique prime numbers are. A must for every elementary-school library and classroom bookshelf. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245350
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Series: Benjamin Franklinstein Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 286,852
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 320L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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