Of all the books I have read in the "Math Fun" series, If You Were A Divided-By Sign, along with If You Were A Times Sign, are the only ones that put me off, starting with the title. The symbol used to indicate division is called a division sign. Why not call the operation symbol by its proper name? I have never understood why we must come up with terms other than the ones that will last children a lifetime. It is not any more difficult for a six or seven year old to learn the term "division sign" than it is to learn "divided-by sign." To her credit, the author does call the result of a division operation by its name: a quotient. But when the reader encounters the term "division sign," the confusion continues as division is addressed. Introducing primary math concepts in an engaging manner with clever illustrations is a worthy endeavor; however, it seems counterproductive to water down the effort with weak terms. The title of this book should have been If You Were A Division Sign. The illustrations are colorful but too busy, and the text skips through and skims over division references without giving enough thought to the fact that division is a lifelong skill. I liked the "Everyday Division" game found towards the end of the book. Finally, on the last page, one finds a glossary, where terms such as dividend, division, divisor, multiplication, remainder, symbol, and quotient are briefly defined (as are "divided-by sign" and "times sign"), as well as an index, a list of related books and websites, and a list of all the books in the "Math Fun" series. Reviewer: Jane Singleton Paul
When Trisha Speed Shaskan was a girl, she wanted to become a superhero. Her mother gave her a Wonder Woman costume. Her dad crafted her a tiara and bracelets out of metal to match. Trisha imagined she could fight evil, fly an invisible airplane, and get anyone to tell the truth. While she didn’t grow up to be Wonder Woman, she still uses her imagination to write stories and to teach creative writing. Trisha has taught creative writing to children and adults for thirteen years. She has published 26 books for children, and more are forthcoming. She has an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Trisha currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Stephen, and their cat, Eartha, named after Eartha Kitt, famous for her role as Catwoman.