Gr 1-3-A question students often ask about math is "what does this have to do with the real world?" Kassirer skillfully responds by integrating the concept of patterns into a charming and plausible story. Nina is invited to a party but the only dress that fits her is an "icky plain one." To spruce it up, she borrows a necklace from her sister without asking. When it breaks, she is left to reconstruct it with a friend at the bead store, and it is there that the pattern building begins. Yet, the math is so seamlessly integrated into the dialogue that readers might pass right through it without realizing they are learning a key concept. The lighthearted pictures depict a culturally diverse set of characters, from Nina's friend and fellow party goers to the bead store's shopkeeper. Well-conceived activities offer adults ideas for extending this concept.-Louie Lahana, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.