Children's Literature - Ru Story-HuffmanThis beginning to read book illustrates the math concepts of even and odd. Using short sentences, rhymes, and repetition, Ziefert has presented a good book which is both educational and fun. In addition to teaching about math, Bears ODD, Bears EVEN will encourage children to read on their own, as it utilizes words they may already know, plus new challenges. Each two-page spread features large text, plenty of white space around the words, and illustrations that provide some visual clues to the concept being introduced. As they read this text, children are asked questions and given the opportunity to reinforce the learning process. In addition to learning to distinguish between odd and even, children are presented with some basic numeral concepts. The final page features a section on more math fun in which children are encouraged to explore their world using numbers. Ziefert, the creator of Viking's 'Hello Reading' series, has scored another hit.
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2--This math book falls short of the mark. The text, which describes brown bears and polar bears engaged in various activities, has a distracting, uneven rhythm due to its constant shift between rhyme and prose. Although some of the rules for odd and even are pointed out (e.g., "Two, four, six, eight, ten--even numbers"), many questions go unanswered, such as "Count the bikes./Count the wheels./Which number is odd?/Which is even?" The illustrations serve the text in simple demonstrations of even and odd (e.g., four polar bears play on a giant number "4"; five brown bears paint on an oversized numeral "5"). However, the pictures do little to illuminate readers' understanding of the tougher concepts such as "Odd plus even--always odd!" These are pictured merely as equations the bears write on a chalkboard (e.g., 5+4=9). Stick with Stuart Murphy and G. Brian Karas's Give Me Half! (HarperCollins, 1996), Stuart Murphy and Lois Ehlert's A Pair of Socks (HarperCollins, 1996), and Pat Hutchins's The Doorbell Rang (Greenwillow, 1986) and wait for a better book that focuses on odd and even.--Gale W. Sherman, Pocatello Public Library, ID
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