Minnie's Diner: A Multiplying Menu

Minnie's Diner: A Multiplying Menu

by Dayle Ann Dodds
"The concept of doubling goes down easy in this combination of multiplication facts, rhyme, humor — and diner food." — THE HORN BOOK

Down on the farm one morning, Papa McFay orders his sons to hop to their chores. But from Minnie’s kitchen wafts a smell that gets the boys itchin’, and one by one, they succumb to the call of


"The concept of doubling goes down easy in this combination of multiplication facts, rhyme, humor — and diner food." — THE HORN BOOK

Down on the farm one morning, Papa McFay orders his sons to hop to their chores. But from Minnie’s kitchen wafts a smell that gets the boys itchin’, and one by one, they succumb to the call of that sweet aroma. Each brother arrives at Minnie’s twice as hungry as his brother before — and looking for twice as much grub. Will they be in double trouble when Papa McFay tracks them down? With singsong rhythms and comical illustrations spiced with flavor, Dayle Ann Dodds and John Manders serve up a humorous lesson in multiplication.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This lesson in multiplication goes down smoothly, thanks to the exponential fun in the rhyming couplets and accompanying visuals. Papa McFay seen only as an imposing shadow orders his five sons not to chow down until they finish their chores. But a delicious aroma wafts their way from Minnie's Diner, and one after the other, the brothers shuck their responsibilities and make a beeline for the counter. Since each brother is "twice as big" as his preceding sibling, each orders twice as much as the brother before ("Make it a double," they instruct Minnie). Little Will starts the ball rolling with "1 soup/ 1 salad/ 1 sandwich/ some fries, and/ 1 of her special hot cherry pies." By the time oldest brother Dill (the spitting image of Paul Bunyan) takes his place at the counter, he's ready for 16 of everything and Manders (Dirt Boy) paints Minnie reaching the end of her waitressing rope. With Dodds's (The Great Divide) bouncy rhymes and Manders's assured gouaches, the book takes on the vivacity of a vintage animated cartoon; it's easy to imagine a musical score toodling along as Minnie scurries about and the sinuous, ghostly line of cooking fragrance draws the boys into the diner. There's even a solid punchline: the terribly intimidating shadow of Papa McFay turns out to belong to a scrawny little fella (think Snuffy Smith) who not only succumbs to the charms of Minnie's menu, but also asks for 32 of everything and cleans her out (Manders ends with a "Sorry, we're closed!" sign). Ages 5-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Papa McFay's boys work until the smell from Minnie's diner tickles their noses. The youngest, Will McFay, can stand it no longer. He rushes to the diner and orders one soup, one salad, one sandwich, some fries, and one of the special hot cherry pies. Soon, brother Bill joins Will at the dinner. Only Bill orders two of each item! Next, Phil stops painting the gate, and bursts through the diner door. He is twice as big as his brothers and orders four of everything! The story continues as each brother doubles in size and in hunger, and the orders multiply. Back on the farm, Papa picks up the diner smell and heads there. He's a small man, but his shadow is enormous and covers the floor. At first Papa is angry, until his nose catches scent of the hot cherry pie. Then, Papa sits down and makes his order a double. The bright, colorful illustrations will have young children introduced to multiplication in no time, as each item multiplies right off the page. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 3 to 5.
—Mindy Hardwick
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-One by one, each of the McFay brothers sneaks away from his farm chores and heads over to Minnie's Diner for her fabulous fare. Beginning with the youngest and smallest boy, Minnie serves each sibling successively twice as much food as the previous diner, because each brother is twice as large as the one before. After the fifth brother is presented with 16 portions of everything, Papa McFay enters the restaurant, wondering why none of the work has been done. Although he is short and skinny, he casts an enormous shadow across the floor, and to Minnie's consternation, orders a dinner that doubles that of his largest son. After bringing him a table-sized tray of food, Minnie has to close shop for the day. Told in jaunty rhymes with varied type sizes for emphasis, this funny story is illustrated with colorful cartoons done in gouache. Children will appreciate the humor and groan with delight when they recognize the math pattern and anticipate ever-larger amounts of food. Pair Dodds's book with Kathi Appelt's Bats on Parade (HarperCollins, 1999), also told in verse, for a fun first look at multiplication.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hopping onto the math-concepts bandwagon, Dodds ties the idea of "doubling" to a slender storyline. Dispatched by Papa McFay to do the chores, five farm lads are diverted by the smells wafting from a nearby diner. One by one, the brothers, and finally Papa McFay himself, sit at the counter and place their orders for soups, salads, sandwiches, fries, and, for dessert, hot cherry pies-each order being twice the size of the previous one. Manders places the overalled eaters and their increasingly frazzled server in a classic country diner and piles the plates in countable stacks upon increasingly huger platters. The result is a lively alternative to the similarly themed likes of Stuart Murphy's Double the Ducks (2002), illustrated by Valerie Petrone, or Carol Losi's 512 Ants on Sullivan Street (1997), illustrated by Patrick Merrell. (Picture book. 5-7)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 11.23(h) x 0.19(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Dayle Ann Dodds is the author of many books for children, including THE KETTLES GET NEW CLOTHES and THE SHAPE OF THINGS. She says, "When I was young, my parents had a ranch with lots of fences to paint. Often my father would wake me up early to go into town to a diner just like Minnie's for a cowboy breakfast — stacks of fluffy buttermilk pancakes piled high to the sky!"

John Manders works out of his studio in Pittsburgh, creating artwork for such picture books as SENOR DON GATO. He says of MINNIE'S DINER, "I visited many diners, drank many cups of coffee, and ate many French fries while searching for the perfect diner."

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