The Lion's Share

( 1 )


When Ant receives a special invitation to dine with Lion, she is ready to be on her best behavior. During dessert, the other guests do not mind their manners, and by the time the dessert cake reaches Ant, barely a crumb is left for her to share with the King! Baking a cake seems like the perfect way to make it up to him . . . until the other guests turn her kind gesture into a contest. Exactly how many cakes are fit for a king?

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When Ant receives a special invitation to dine with Lion, she is ready to be on her best behavior. During dessert, the other guests do not mind their manners, and by the time the dessert cake reaches Ant, barely a crumb is left for her to share with the King! Baking a cake seems like the perfect way to make it up to him . . . until the other guests turn her kind gesture into a contest. Exactly how many cakes are fit for a king?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

McElligott (Absolutely Not) is a triple threat: a sturdy storyteller, a stylish draftsman and a thoughtful wit who makes math funny. Eight animal guests devour the cake served at the lion's royal feast, each taking half of what's on the plate as it is passed; by the time it reaches the lion king, his portion has been reduced to crumbs. The virtuous ant volunteers to make amends by baking a cake, whereupon the others, anxious not to be shown up, successively double her offer, finally reaching a bid of 256 peanut-butter pound cakes from the elephant (McElligott lays out all 256 as a visual aid). The math content enriches the story but doesn't overshadow the hero, the gentle and considerate ant. Grids and square panels of diminishing size used as design elements reinforce the content and are attractive in their own right; subtle grids can be found within the compositions as well. Able characterizations multiply the laughs; the gorilla, in sunglasses, looks a lot like Jack Nicholson. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Lessons in both math and etiquette are combined in this story of the lion's special dinner party. The ant, invited for the first time and anxious to make a good impression, arrives right on time. The other eight guests are not only late, but they also behave very badly. When the dessert cake arrives, the lion passes to the elephant, who thinks he is being generous by cutting off only half. The hippo, thinking him greedy, takes half of what is left. When the gorilla gets the remainder, he takes half, as do the rest of the guests, until by the time it reaches the ant, there is so little left that it falls to pieces. The others call her selfish since there is nothing left for the lion. The aunt is apologetic, inviting king lion for a special cake at her house tomorrow. Not to be outdone, each other animal doubles the offer, until the elephant must promise 256! The end pages demonstrate what a cake becomes when cut in half seven times. The visual story shows the same in more dramatic fashion, employing ink, watercolors, and "digital techniques" to produce naturalistic animals with human personalities. When they begin to promise the ever-increasing number of fancy cakes, the results are amusing. In the end, the lion is cutting the aunt's cake in half to share it. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

The king of the jungle has a small party every year for his closest friends, even though they are greedy and ill-mannered. The lion graciously passes cake to the elephant, telling him to help himself. The elephant takes half. Each animal in turn takes half of what is passed, leaving only a crumb for the ant to share with the king. Instead, the ant says that he will bake the king a fresh cake in the morning. Each animal then ups the ante by doubling the previous offer, culminating with the elephant committing himself to baking 256. This mouthwatering tale of division and multiplication will delight young readers as they imagine a palace full of cakes. The captivating ink and watercolor illustrations, enhanced with digital techniques, continually reinforce the mathematical theme with humor and detail. Many layouts effectively present a graphic display of the simple fraction concepts. The results are terrific. Because young readers will relish the absurdity of the story, it will hold up to repeated readings to reinforce math instruction.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME

Kirkus Reviews
Basic math is inescapable, even at dinner parties with the lion king. At this royal meal, the elephant takes half the cake before passing it along, the hippo takes half of that, and so on. When the cake finally reaches the ant, she struggles to cut the tiny remaining slice in two-one for her, one for the king-but it just crumbles to pieces. Mortified, she vows to bake the king a strawberry sponge cake. The other, ruder, animals, not to be outdone, each double the ant's offering . . . crescendoing to the elephant's hard-to-swallow pledge of 256 peanut-butter pound cakes. In addition to witnessing the occasional price of boorishness, young readers will easily grasp how fast things disappear when repeatedly halved, and how quickly numbers add up when doubled. A divided-up cake on the endpapers illustrates fractions from one to 1/128, and the o'er-hasty cake-doublings are displayed in countable cake form, from one to 256. The handsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations are as gently funny as the story, and the heavily partitioned design well suits the math lesson at hand. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802723604
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 188,113
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew McElligott

MATTHEW McELLIGOTT is the author of several books for children, including The Lion's Share, Absolutely Not, and Backbeard and the Birthday Suit. He teaches at Sage College and also visits elementary schools around the country. He lives in New

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great math story

    This book needs to be on every teacher's shelf. A great picture book to illustrate fractions and square roots (doubling). It also leads itself to the discussion of fairness, manners and biting off more than you can chew. I have become a huge fan of Matthew McElligot!

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