PIGS ON THE BALL

FUN WITH MATH AND SPORTS

In another entry in Axelrod’s math-concepts series (Pigs in the Pantry, 1997, etc.) Mr. and Mrs. Pig and their piglets visit a miniature golf course for Mr. Pig’s birthday, and get a crash course in simple geometry. The pigs, as always, are a jolly bunch, ever-ready to exploit the comic possibilities. In this story, Mr. Pig plays the fall guy: Even his new lucky shirt can’t save him from putting his ball out of bounds, into the water, or beneath the bushes. Of course, the other three pigs work the greens like Sam Snead, all the while offering Mr. Pig advice, much of it laced with geometry. Some of the dialogue becomes stilted (“Dad, this one is so easy. Just gently putt to the center of any of the equal sides, and the ball will land in the cup”), but the story still prattles along in a merry vein, with its subtext of lines and curves, parallels and semi- circles. (There is a quiz at the end.) McGinley-Nally shows pigs running happily amok, flashing wit, knowledge, and the electric palette of a single-minded crusade against math anxiety. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-689-81565-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS

A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. They bulge from his pockets, float around his head and fill his world. Classmates nickname Selig “Wordsworth” and give him a word for his collection: “oddball.” The discovery that his purpose in life is to share his carefully chosen words with others leads to success and love. And, “if, one day, . . . the perfect word just seems to come to you . . . you’ll know that Selig is near.” Schotter’s words are enlivened by Potter’s distinctively naïve figures, all placed in settings in which words and labels are scattered about in a way that invites close inspection and promotes purposeful inquiry. It all adds up to an *exultant encounter, chockablock with tintinnabulating gusto (*see tantalizing glossary appended). A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83601-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to...

PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN

A class visits the pumpkin patch, giving readers a chance to count down from 20.

At the farm, Farmer Mixenmatch gives them the tour, which includes a petting zoo, an educational area, a corn maze and a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch. Holub’s text cleverly though not always successfully rhymes each child’s name within the line: “ ‘Eighteen kids get on our bus,’ says Russ. / ‘But someone’s late,’ says Kate. / ‘Wait for me!’ calls Kiri.” Pumpkins at the tops of pages contain the numerals that match the text, allowing readers to pair them with the orange-colored, spelled-out numbers. Some of the objects proffered to count are a bit of a stretch—“Guess sixteen things we’ll see,” count 14 cars that arrived at the farm before the bus—but Smith’s artwork keeps things easy to count, except for a challenging page that asks readers to search for 17 orange items (answers are at the bottom, upside down). Strangely, Holub includes one page with nothing to count—a sign marks “15 Pumpkin Street.” Charming, multicultural round-faced characters and lots of detail encourage readers to go back through the book scouring pages for the 16 things the kids guessed they might see. Endpapers featuring a smattering of pumpkin facts round out the text.

Between its autumn and field-trip themes and the fact that not many books start countdowns from 20, this may find its way to many library shelves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-6660-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more