On the Scale, a Weighty Tale


In this wacky look at weight, Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable introduce essential measurement units—from grams to pounds to tons. The comical cats of the wildly popular Words Are CATegorical™ series show how to measure trucks, trains, ducks, cranes, and more. Peppy rhymes, goofy illustrations, and kid-friendly examples make light work of this heavy topic.

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In this wacky look at weight, Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable introduce essential measurement units—from grams to pounds to tons. The comical cats of the wildly popular Words Are CATegorical™ series show how to measure trucks, trains, ducks, cranes, and more. Peppy rhymes, goofy illustrations, and kid-friendly examples make light work of this heavy topic.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carol Raker Collins
From the "Math Is Categorical" series, here is an introduction to weights and measures. Relying on the series's trademark rollicking rhymes and illustrations, the poet and cartoonist teach the early reader about weight, scales, and two systems of measurement. Starting off with the English or U.S. customary system, we see that an ounce is approximately the weight of one slice of bread, while a pound is that of about sixteen slices of bread (or one loaf). A ton is 2,000 pounds and, therefore, measures things like "trucks and trains of ducks and cranes or freighters filled with buns." The metric system or International System of Units, on the other hand, has a gram, about the weight of a paper clip, a kilogram about the weight of a quart of milk, and a metric ton about the weight of a small Chevy. The relation between the two systems is also indicated. For example, an ounce equals 28.35 grams, a kilogram equals 2 pounds, and a metric ton equals a female giraffe, while a ton equals a female walrus. Scales of various kinds are shown weighing things. We see a mouse on one side of a balance scale and a fat cat eating a triple-scoop ice cream cone weighing down the other, or there is a very fat girl cat named "Kate, who just turned eight," who is holding her birthday cake and standing heftily on a bathroom scale. This is a humorous start to a subject that is typically made weightier than required. Reviewer: Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

In bubbly verse, Cleary presents a basic introduction to weights and measures. "Weighing things is how we find/the heaviness of stuff-/a soccer ball,/great-grandma's shawl,/and bags of pillow fluff." Cheery, child-friendly examples are used for both English and metric measurements, progressing from smaller to larger weights in this approachable explanation of the topic. Some comparison between the two systems is provided. Measurement terms are highlighted in bright font as they are introduced in the text. A handy table of weight ratios is appended. Gable's watercolor cartoons depict rainbow-hued cats engaged in all manner of activities. This humorous title should prove useful in both classroom and family discussions.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
In rousing rhyme, this addition to the Math is CATegorical series explores weight measurement. Beginning with a definition of weight as "The heaviness of an object," Cleary proceeds on to its applications. "Weighing things is how we find the heaviness of stuff," he cheerfully (and colloquially) proclaims. All things, from backpacks to kites, have weight. A slice of bread, the reader learns, weighs about an ounce. So, since 16 ounces makes a pound then it logically follows that 16 slices of bread will weigh just about one pound. Moving from pounds to tons and then touching briefly on the metric system, the book concludes with a tidy summery page. Gable's colorful illustrations seethe with motion, as zany cartoon animals (primarily cats) mischievously frolic to illuminate the text. The clear and humorous examples drawn from life enable kids to understand easily and then apply the information. For those just beginning the numbers adventure, this one tips the scale. (Informational picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580138451
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Series: Math Is CATegorical Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 628,061
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian P. Cleary is the creator of the best-selling Words Are CATegorical™ series, now a 13-volume set with more than 2 million copies in print. He is also the author of the Math Is CATegorical™ series and the single titles Rainbow Soup: Adventures in Poetry, Rhyme and PUNishment: Adventures in Wordplay, Eight Wild Nights: A Family Hanukkah Tale, Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book and The Laugh Stand: Adventures in Humor. Mr. Cleary lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Brian Gable is the illustrator of several Words Are CATegorical™ books, as well as the Make Me Laugh joke books and the Math Is CATegorical™ series. Mr. Gable lives in Toronto, Canada, where he also works as a political cartoonist for the Globe and Mail.

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