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Children's LiteratureCan learning simple addition be fun? Cleary and Gable think so. Capitalizing on the success of their popular "Words are Categorical" series, they have shifted their focus to mathematics. The first in the new "Math is Categorical" series, this book introduces young readers to basic addition concepts in a fun, playful way. Combining silly illustrations of cat-like characters drawn in bright vibrant colors, with playful rhyme, Cleary and Gable have hit on the perfect combination for teaching such facts as, "addition is growing the total of things, like bubbles in bathtubs or bright shiny rings," or "no amount gets smaller when you're working in addition. The numbers climb from low to high 'cause that's addition's mission." And instead of adding boring things like apples and oranges, readers get to add such things as baseball players, marching band members, or babysitters, (it took ten to watch this crew of three troublemakers!) Although the math problems start out simple enough ("Six yellow buses were parked in a line. Three pulled behind them, and then there were nine"), students will soon be adding to achieve much bigger numbers. ("So, if a hen lays seven eggs plus three, plus four, plus ten, the total equals twenty-four—and one exhausted hen!"). The small size, approximately 7 X 9 inches, makes this book difficult for use in large groups, but using multiple copies in small groups, or as a home school tool, this would be a good supplement to the early elementary school classroom curriculum. 2005, Millbrook Press, Ages 4 to 8.