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ARITHMECHICKS ADD UP

A MATH STORY

Practical application mixes with play, adding up to enjoyable learning.

Ten exuberant chicks head to the park for playtime and a self-guided math lesson.

The chicks, who sport feathers in various shades of yellow, brown, and black, have brought a notepad and are “ready to add!” They observe and calculate different chick configurations within each game or on a piece of playground equipment. Throughout, “a lonely mouse watches,” mimicking their play from afar. Ten stacked chicks are ultimately not tall enough to reach a basketball lodged in the hoop; but 10 chicks “plus 1 helpful mouse” are! The sums do not appear in order (4, 5 ,6, etc.), and this lack of pattern discourages guessing. They do appear on the same spreads as the setup: On the left, “2 chicks far plus / 2 chicks near equals…” appears within eyesight of “4 chicks playing tag” on the right. This design aspect suits the book to younger readers who are still being introduced to basic arithmetic functions and are not quite ready for independent work. On each calculation page, a chick uses the notepad to visualize one of many addition methods. Backmatter gives further explanations on these tools, describing a standard equation, tally marks, number lines, a number bond, and fingers “(or feathers),” among others. Hand-done textures on the digital illustrations appear delightfully scratched, as if by chicken feet, and playful, emphasizing the lighthearted tone of the lesson.

Practical application mixes with play, adding up to enjoyable learning. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62979-807-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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RUBY FINDS A WORRY

From the Big Bright Feelings series

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their...

Ruby is an adventurous and happy child until the day she discovers a Worry.

Ruby barely sees the Worry—depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow—at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved. Her constant anxiety about the Worry causes the bright yellow blob to crowd Ruby’s everyday life, which by this point is nearly all washes of gray and white. But at the playground, Ruby sees a boy sitting on a bench with a growing sky-blue Worry of his own. When she invites the boy to talk, his Worry begins to shrink—and when Ruby talks about her own Worry, it also grows smaller. By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child—or adult—conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner. Ruby presents black, with hair in cornrows and two big afro-puff pigtails, while the boy has pale skin and spiky black hair.

A valuable asset to the library of a child who experiences anxiety and a great book to get children talking about their feelings (. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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