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Children's LiteratureOn the way to their vacation spot, the O'Malley family decides to pass the time in the car more quickly by playing a game. Relying on an "old family favorite," they play the tally game where certain objects are sought after and then recorded in tallies. Each child in the family—three in all—is responsible for a particular object and must record sightings in tally marks. After a designated time, the one with the most tallies wins. The three children all covet the prize for winning a game—-the plastic shamrock necklace. The youngest of the children, Nell, does not have any luck in the first two rounds. However, she is able to pull out a victory at the end of the book and receives the beloved necklace. As part of the "MathStart" series, this book (graded a two out of three in difficulty) does a solid job reinforcing the concept of tally marks to its readers. The tally mark recordings are always shown within the illustrations so that the reader can follow their progression. Resources dealing with the same subject matter are listed in the back of the book along with extension activity ideas for parents and children. This book is a good support in a classroom introducing tally marks or focusing on the patterns of numbers. 2004, Harper Collins, Ages 5 to 9.
—Andrea Sears Andrews