Gr 1-3-A splashy and colorful offering designed to inform and entertain. Chester the snail sets up a contest between his friends Gonk the toad and Beezy the lizard to see who can make the best graph, telling them that points will be given for "correct math, creativity, and neatness." Beezy and Gonk explore all aspects of data management, including data collection (tallies and surveys) and the use of graphic organizers (Venn diagrams, quantity graphs, circle graphs, picture graphs, and bar graphs). In the end, readers will observe from Chester's graphically designed score sheet that the result is a tie. The lively text, delivered in large type and contained in dialogue and thought balloons, is engaging and well supported by the vivid, cartoon illustrations. An occasional photograph creates an interesting, mixed-media effect. While the story itself is informative, true instruction is provided at the end of the book where each graph's data collection and construction is carefully explained, with a page reference provided. An exciting and energetic math resource.-Robyn Walker, Elgin Court Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Leedy makes graphing simple and fun in this delightfully clever outing. Gonk the toad and Beezy the lizard cannot agree on whose graphs are the best, so Chester the snail proposes a contest. He will judge his friends' work on creativity, neatness and the use of correct math. All around the neighborhood the trio find things to graph-rocks, cookies, bathing suits, butterflies, hatching eggs and flower shoppers. Each contestant grows progressively worried as his opponent creates more creative and complex graphs. Chester gets the bug in the end and presents his scores as a graph. Beginning with quantity and bar graphs, the two also experiment with Venn diagrams and circle graphs. All include the essential parts of a title and labels, and for those with marked quantities, the text emphasizes the need for equal spacing/sizing. Well-crafted explanations make it easy for young readers to create their own graphs. The artwork is a combination of real photos and cartoon-ish illustrations (complete with speech bubbles), making the objects pop off the pages and creating interesting contrasts. Highly educational and fun to boot. (Picture book. 4-10)