CHIMP MATH by Ann Whitehead Nagda


Learning About Time from a Baby Chimpanzee
Age Range: 7 - 10
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In this peek into the care of zoo babies, readers will learn not only about chimpanzees, but will also reinforce their math skills. In a split-page format, the reader views pictures and text about Jiggs and his growth on the right-hand pages. His story begins with his birth as a scrawny and weak baby. When his mother ignores him, he’s placed in an incubator and cared for by a human baby doctor. As he gains strength, he spends his days in the zoo nursery and his nights at the home of Cindy, a veterinary assistant. He’s later joined in the nursery by Giorgio, a jaguar cub whom he helps to care for, feed, and keep safe. As he grows older, though, he is placed back among chimpanzees. This ecological message is an important one—zoo animals are still wild animals and not pets. Left-hand pages present the math—visuals that show a graph of Jiggs’s weight gain, a timeline of his feeding schedule, the daily charts Cindy keeps of his naps, snacks, and activities, and a chart comparing Jiggs to wild chimps in the achievement of certain milestones: climbing up a branch, combing another’s fur, etc. These pages do not simply repeat information from the storyline. Readers use the math presented in order to learn more about chimps—an excellent educational method. The authors also explain how time is told, why charts are useful tools, and how graphs are read, and introduce children to a time-related vocabulary. Readers will certainly be struck by the amazing similarity between chimp and human babies. Nagda (Snake Charmer, p. 663, etc.) has done it once again, combining multiple disciplines and teaching in a non-threatening, as-you-need-it manner. Great for a future Jane Goodall and a wonderful teaching tool for elementary teachers. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8050-6674-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2002


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