If You Were a Polygonby Marcie Aboff, Sarah Dillard
If you were a polygon, you would have at least three straight sides. You could be a kite, a star, or a stop sign. What else could you be if you were a polygon?
Children's Literature - Leona IlligThis book is part of the "Math Fun" series. There is no story in this book; instead, it presents the concept of the polygon and explains, through text and illustrations, the various mathematical principles of the polygon. The illustrations are simple and consist of various cartoon animals and objects. The book begins with the definition of a regular polygon, then builds on that concept to explore the meaning of an irregular polygon, the parts of a polygon, and the different shapes of a polygon. At the end of the book there is a short quiz (i.e., "Spot the Polygons"), a glossary of terms, and lists of additional books and Internet sites on the subject. The idea of teaching young children mathematical concepts is admirable, but this picture book, which is by definition designed for younger children, may not live up to its purpose. The presentation of facts, without any coherent story, is not likely to engage readers. The illustrations, while clear, all have the same color intensity and are cluttered, possibly making it harder for children to focus on the main ideas. There is also the difficulty of the subject matter to be considered. Concepts such as angles, measurements, and vertices may be hard for younger children to grasp, absent a context or story in which to place them. This book would probably be best suited for children who have already demonstrated an interest in math. Reviewer: Leona Illig
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