In the first book of the Math Is Categorical series, readers will become familiar with the concept of addition and its key terms.
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-fourand 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.
School Library JournalK-Gr 2-The team behind the "Words Are CATegorical" series (Carolrhoda) offers the first in a series about math. Through playful rhymes, the book explains basic concepts such as, "No amount gets smaller when you're working in addition. The numbers climb from low to high 'cause that's addition's mission!" Children count bubbles, rings, school buses, baseballs, baby-sitters, eggs, and musicians in this fun introduction, which also covers terms that are indicative of the operation: "`Equals' can be used like `is,' or `totals,' even `makes.' It doesn't matter if you're adding friends or birthday cakes." Silly cartoons of the catlike cast in flat colors are outlined in black ink. It is sometimes difficult to count the objects such as bubbles, which float individually in the air as well as fill the tub in a solid mass. While 10 baby-sitters are introduced in one segment, they are sometimes difficult to differentiate from their charges and are never pictured together for youngsters to count. The final spread challenges readers to solve five simple addition problems, only two of which include tangible objects to count. Without memorizing number facts, it may be difficult to make the jump from "three eggs plus two eggs equal five eggs" to "6+5=?" Furthermore, the small size of the book makes it difficult for group sharing. All in all, an additional purchase.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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