Inchworm and A Half


What's a fraction? A puzzled inchworm enlists the aid of 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/4-inch worms in her quest to measure all the vegetables in their garden. New lengths bring new fractions to conquer, but the worms prove equal to every challenge, triumphantly munching their way through this delicious tale of math and measuring.

Children and teachers alike will cheer this entertaining visual demonstration of a confusing math concept.

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Inchworm and A Half

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What's a fraction? A puzzled inchworm enlists the aid of 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/4-inch worms in her quest to measure all the vegetables in their garden. New lengths bring new fractions to conquer, but the worms prove equal to every challenge, triumphantly munching their way through this delicious tale of math and measuring.

Children and teachers alike will cheer this entertaining visual demonstration of a confusing math concept.

Several small worms use their varying lengths to measure the vegetables in a garden.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pinczes's latest book focusing on a math concept comes up short. Measuring by whole numbers and fractions is the lesson of the day here, but unlike her previous A Remainder of One and One Hundred Hungry Ants, which successfully focused on one concept throughout, this title takes on too much. The narrative features a wacky refrain ("Squirmy, wormy, hoppity-hoop!/ We measure everything, loopity loop") and stars an inchworm that sets out to measure the vegetables in her garden: "Her measuring method is simple:/ each loop that she takes is one inch./ She starts at one end, and results will depend/ on the number of loops--that's a cinch!" However, readers may have difficulty discerning, from Enos's cartoon-like pictures, the correlation between the worms' lengths and what they are measuring. The art, inexplicably, is not to scale, and as smaller worms--whose respective loopy paths measure one-half, one-third and one-fourth of an inch--enter the illustrations, things become even more confusing. Unfortunately, the vague measurements depicted in the art and lack of the humorous story line usually associated with the author's work add up to one disappointing volume. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The inchworm lives a blissful life, eating and measuring the vegetables in the garden. But when she comes across a cucumber that is not quite three lengths, the inchworm is stumped. Luckily, a smaller worm falls from the sky to offer some assistance. When the smaller worm realizes he is a fraction of the inchworm, their measuring bliss can continue. This pattern emerges through one-half, one-third and one-quarter inchworms, and the group decides there is nothing they cannot measure. Elinor Princzes' musical verse introduces children to the concept of fractions in a playful manner. Likewise, Randall Enos' colorful linoleum cut illustrations enhance the enjoyment of the work. 2001, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
— Jared Reck
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-An introduction to measurement, told in rhyme. Referring to the inchworm, the text explains: "Her measuring method is simple: each loop that she takes is one inch." The accompanying picture shows the little creature looping her way up a ruler. Then one day, the worm measures a bean and she has a bit left over. The concept of fractions is then introduced by having a worm half her size measure it. The story proceeds in this manner with the worms getting smaller and smaller. All of the action takes place in a garden, and the colors of the objects being measured are bright and cheerful: a yellow ruler, green asparagus, bright orange carrots, and huge red tomatoes. The pictures illustrate just how the anthropomorphized characters, one always identifiable in his red baseball cap, go about their tasks while enhancing children's understanding of fractions.-Sheilah Kosco, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Pinczes, who has a knack for turning math into quietly comic entertainment, takes on fractions with her usual deft touch. Here she uses an inchworm as a measuring device. The pleasing little creature, illustrated in linocuts with deep-dyed colors, noodles about the garden measuring zucchini, eggplants, and snow peas (this is as much a vegetable primer as a sally into parts of a whole). But then she hits a snag:"One day the unthinkable happens: / ‘My measurement's off just a bit. / One, two, nearly three! How could this be? / There's no way I could possibly fit.' " Out of the blue drops a short worm, a half-inch one, who fills the bill. They, too, are ultimately flummoxed in their merry measurements, until a third-inch worm shuffles up."To equal one loop by the inchworm, / the second worm had to loop twice. / For accuracy, the third worm looped three. / ‘I'm a one-third-inch fraction, how nice!' " The math goes down like sweet syrup, fitted out as it is in handsome artwork and dulcet rhyme, with nary a digit anywhere to spark that old math anxiety. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618311019
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/19/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 327,570
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Elinor Pinczes and Randall Enos have collaborated together on another book for children, My Full Moon Is Square. Ms. Pinczes is the author of several other books for young readers. She lives with her husband in Bozeman, Montana. Mr. Enos’s illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers for more than forty-five years. He lives in Easton, Connecticut, with his wife.

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