From the Publisher
Wrapped in good humor, this simply illustrated playtime story explores the concept of sharing as it imparts a subtle counting lesson. Two friends, a hippo and an alligator, count out cookies and cars. Everything is fine when each friend has one object, but as the numbers increase, so do the stakes. The animals learn about sharing and fairness when they divide four cookies, each friend getting two. But Mom takes away three cars when the friends can't decide who should get the third. Should it go to the cars' owner? To the guest? Or should Mom keep them all? Neither child likes the last solution. There's not much clutter or detail in the pictures. The clean, bright art depicts the young friends, the hippo mom, and the toys outlined in crisp black, with bright blue, sunny yellow, lime green, hot pink, and vivid orange colors energizing everything. Happy solutions to real-life challenges delivered with good cheer.
School Library Journal
A hippo and an alligator take cookies from the cookie jar and then must decide how to divide them evenly. When they play with cars, they find that three cars and two friends make it hard to share. The brief rhyming phrases mixed with bright, bold colors make this a solid tale for the very young. Math concepts are an integral part of the story, but don't force the issue.
This dual-purpose tale turns the testy negotiations that swirl around two toddlers (a hippo and a crocodile), four cookies and three toy cars into teachable moments, proving the value of both simple math and sharing. "What? Stay back!" cries the crocodile when the hippo, the playdate host, tries to take the lion's share of cookies. "Don't take three!/ That won't make it fair for me." Splitting the sum in half calms the waters for a few pages, until the crocodile decides to exercise her guest's privilege and appropriate more cars: "One for me?/ You get the rest?/ Two for you,/ since you're the guest?" But when Mom confiscates the items and raises the possibilities of "No more cookies, cars, or friends," hippo figures out that by roping her into the game, everybody gets one car. With austere rhymes that bring to mind the elegance of an equation, Cameron captures the way choices delineate a toddler's world. But she also adds an intriguing layer of ambiguity by omitting quotation marks from the text-it's never quite clear whether the words are being spoken or thought. Lin's (The Ugly Vegetables) patterns of curlicues, stripes and flowers add another dimension to a palette predominantly painted in primary and tertiary colors. Her buoyant sense of design, utilizing geometric shapes, accentuates the mathematical themes as her characters stand out in bold relief against brightly patterned backdrops. Ages 2-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Start this subtle math lesson story with two young friends, a cookie jar, and a stool to reach it. Pull out two cookies, easy, one for each child. Reach in for one more, hmm, who gets this one? Hey, that is not fair! Oh good, there is a fourth cookie, two apiece. A cookie snack ends this lesson, so it is time to play cars. But there are three cars, so who gets two? Ask Mom, she will know what's fair. Great idea, Mom can have the third car and play, too. The author's purpose for the story is to build on the natural math ability inherent in children as young as five months. Early math is best explored through physical objects, in this instance, cookies and cars. With vibrantly colored illustrations, including eye-catching patterns, the expressive, rhyming text introduces the concepts of counting and simple arithmetic and the value of sharing. 2003, Roaring Brook Press,
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A hippo and an alligator take cookies from the cookie jar and then must decide how to divide them evenly. When they play with cars, they find that three cars and two friends make it hard to share. The brief rhyming phrases mixed with bright, bold colors make this a solid tale for the very young. Math concepts are an integral part of the story, but don't force the issue.-Nancy A. Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Though the message in Cameron's debut is that sharing makes everybody happy, it plays out against a background of great familiarity: an unmediated disagreement over the division of the spoils. Pegged for the very young, the text keeps the action simple: "One for me. One for you. That makes two." Everything is copacetic for the little hippo and the little alligator as long as the goods come in equal numbers. There may be a touch of opportunism-"If I take three, it's fine with me"-but vigilance and fair play smooth those potential bumps in the road. Still, what happens when there are three toys and two players? "No! No! No! Mom, see there! She's got two, so make her share!" Mom sweeps in and confiscates the toys. Then they realize that mom makes three. Resolution via math rather than ethics, but both seem plain as day for young readers. And though the message is lightly delivered, what will really grab those readers is the art from the talented Lin (Olvina Flies, below, etc.): bright, fascinating tapestries of light, color, pattern, and activity. (Picture book. 2-4)