How Many Blue Birds Flew Away?: A Counting Book with a Difference

Overview

This is not just another counting book.
In this book you must look carefully at the pictures. You must count. And count again.

This is a counting book with a difference.
What is the difference? The difference is what is left over when you subtract one group from another group.

Why else is this a counting ...

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Overview

This is not just another counting book.
In this book you must look carefully at the pictures. You must count. And count again.

This is a counting book with a difference.
What is the difference? The difference is what is left over when you subtract one group from another group.

Why else is this a counting book with a difference?
Because besides counting, you must read and look and think, too. Because there are many things to discover and puzzle out. Because this book is fun!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this counting book, the reader must take the time not only to count but also to compare and subtract as well. In one illustration, a bowl contains apples and oranges. How many of each is there? How many more of one exists than the other? On the playground, how many more girls than boys are there? From the number of cars and trucks in the parking lot to how many pockets and buttons appear on coats in the school closet, the book asks questions about the world around us in mathematical terms readers can relate to. Although more than just a static one-to-ten counting book, there is no overarching plot line that might keep readers' interest through multiple readings. One particularly winning illustration is that of the blue and black birds depicted on the cover and on an inner spread. The author and the two-time Caldecott Honor winning artist have collaborated on two previous counting books—How Many Snails? and Each Orange had 8 Slices. 2005, Greenwillow/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 4 up.
—Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Although this book can be used with children learning to count and subtract, it falls short in many other ways. The gouache illustrations are bland and the text is dry, labored, and boring. The "difference" alluded to in the subtitle refers to the questions that readers are asked to figure out. For example, the first page shows a bowl of fruit and youngsters are asked, "How many apples were there? How many oranges were there? How many more apples than oranges were there?" In addition, there is no plot or real story line; instead the book reads like a series of math exercises. Children will quickly lose interest and tire of the repetitiveness. Libraries would be better off sticking with books by Stuart J. Murphy and Amy Axelrod, who know how to put fun into math while telling a story, too.-Lisa S. Schindler, Bethpage Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The difference in this counting book is the difference-it's all about subtraction. Future mathematicians will get great practice in not only counting and subtracting, but also in grouping and determining which items have similar attributes. As the narrator goes through his day, he asks questions about the things he sees, much like the little boy from Jon Scieszka's Math Curse. When he removes an apple from the fruit bowl, he wonders: How many apples are there? How many oranges? How many more apples than oranges? At the bus stop, he ponders the numbers of hats versus gloves and the numbers of black and blue birds. The day's subtracting finally ends as the narrator gazes up at the moon and stars. The wording on each page differs only in the objects observed, allowing youngsters to keep the focus on counting and finding the differences. Crews makes the attributes to be counted clear in his illustrations, but at the same time demonstrates the wide variety that can be found within categories: colors, shapes and sizes. An excellent addition to every primary teacher's bookshelf or home library. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060007621
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/23/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.18 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Giganti, Jr., teaches mathematics to teachers at the University of California at Berkeley. He is himself a graduate of UC Berkeley, with a degree in mathematics, and he taught in the public schools for fifteen years. He lives with his family in Albany, California.

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