The Wishing Club: A Story about Fractions

Overview

Petey wishes on the first star he sees, but instead of the dollar he hopes for, he gets only a quarter. The next night his little brother Joey wishes for a cookie—and gets just half of one. The twins, Sally and Samantha, don't fare much better.

Try as they might, the children each wind up with a fraction of what they wished for. Can they figure out how to combine their wishes to wind up with one whole, happy ...

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Overview

Petey wishes on the first star he sees, but instead of the dollar he hopes for, he gets only a quarter. The next night his little brother Joey wishes for a cookie—and gets just half of one. The twins, Sally and Samantha, don't fare much better.

Try as they might, the children each wind up with a fraction of what they wished for. Can they figure out how to combine their wishes to wind up with one whole, happy pet?

This charming blend of storytelling and math will keep young readers engaged till the very end.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The kids' clever way of testing their math will have teachers applauding, as will the amazing mind-stretching follow-up page, which gives readers some thought-provoking questions to further explore the concepts presented in the book. A clever concept done well."

Kirkus Reviews

"Math is a magical part of everyday family life in this warm story."

School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
In this delightful picture book, family members Pete, Joey, Sally, and Samantha wish on the wishing star they see every night from their porch. Although they always get something the next day, they never get exactly what they wished for. For example, four-year-old Petey asks for a dollar, but instead gets a quarter; two-year-old Joey asks for a cookie and gets half of one. As the children puzzle out their interesting star, they hypothesize that they are getting fractions of what they wished for based on their ages. To prove whether or not their reasoning is correct, the children figure out the fractions and then create a mixed concoction of strange liquids using 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and 1/8 to equal one; their preparation is in anticipation of wishing on their star for a pig. The illustrations, in pen and watercolor, evoke the mood of the poem and detail the delight and wonder in the children's face perfectly to match the text. An additional page of questions and activities to try at home or school continues to support the critical thinking about fractions that is found in the rest of the text. This is a must-have for elementary math teachers, as well as for any of the rest of us who would like children to enjoy working with fractions! Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
The nighttime magic of a wishing star provides the framework for a realistic story about fractions. When four children receive only a fraction of their wishes, they discover a pattern. Petey, who is four, gets one-fourth of a dollar, while two-year-old Joey gets half a cookie; eight-year-old twins Sally and Samantha each get one-eighth of a bag of marbles. On the last night that the comet is visible, the siblings decide to combine their wishes and ask for the pet they all want. Napoli's story moves smoothly between the magic of wishes granted and the reality of working with fractions. While getting half a cookie is fine, getting half a pig wouldn't do at all. Currey's watercolor-and-ink illustrations evoke summer nights when barefoot youngsters lean on porch railings and look at the stars. With faces illuminated by paper lanterns, lighted windows, and starlight, they examine cookies, quarters, and marbles. Simple, unobtrusive pictures show how much of each is required to make a whole. The mix of magic and math is irresistible. While children can read the book themselves, librarians will want the pleasure of reading it aloud and exploring the possibilities the author provides in a note at the end.
—Mary Jean SmithCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Four children learn about fractions when they wish on a star and only get partial wish fulfillments. Four-year-old Petey and his two-year-old brother, Joey, make the first wishes on the star, asking for a dollar. Sally, eight, thinks they are both goofy, but the next morning Petey is a quarter richer. He wishes again, while Joey asks for a cookie. Petey receives another quarter and Joey gets half a cookie. At this point, Sally and her twin Samantha get in on the wishing. But each receives only an eighth of their wish. Putting their heads together, they determine that their ages are the key, and that if they all wish for the same thing, they can get one whole. And what a wish it is! Currey's watercolor illustrations capture the wonder and puzzlement in the children's faces as they ponder their wishing star. She visually presents the fractional parts, as well as the number of parts required to make a whole, and adds the fractional notation. The kids' clever way of testing their math will have teachers applauding, as will the amazing mind-stretching follow-up page, which gives readers some thought-provoking questions to further explore the concepts presented in the book. A clever concept done well. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805076653
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 7/24/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 169,560
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

DONNA JO NAPOLI is an acclaimed author best known for her fantasy novels. She lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, with her family.

ANNA CURREY has illustrated several books for children. She lives in England.

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