A quirky approach to math that should spur divergent thinking

ANTS RULE

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

Ants as a unit of measurement?

In Barner’s wonderful, Eric Carle–like collages, ants are 1 inch long (as represented with yellow-and-black rulers that run along the bottoms of some pages). The ants are compared to other insects (familiarly called “bugs”) in charts, graphs, and different presentations of data. Words and pictures are used to help young learners make size comparisons. As the ants create an amusement-park ride for the Blowout Bug Jamboree, they busily measure their friends: “Caterpillar is four ants long. Bee is two ants long. Ladybug is one ant long.” These size relationships are presented on a chart and then discussed in dialogue bubbles by the ants. For the youngest mathematicians, this repetition will reinforce the concept. Older kids in this age group or those readers who grasp new ideas quickly may get bored, but then new insects are introduced, and the illustrations in varied formats will keep viewers involved. A pie chart showing the number of insects that will attend the jamboree helps to answer the question: “How many of each kind of bug will come?” The answer is used by the industrious ants to construct their masterpiece, brilliantly rolled out in a gatefold at the end of the book: a Blowout Bug Jamboree Buggy-go-round! (Unfortunately, one ladybug seems to be missing.)

A quirky approach to math that should spur divergent thinking . (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3660-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences.

LOLA PLANTS A GARDEN

From the Lola & Leo series

Hoping to have a garden like the one in her poetry book, Lola plants seeds, waits and weeds, and finally celebrates with friends.

The author and illustrator of Lola Loves Stories (2010) and its companion titles take their appealing character outside. Inspired by her favorite poem, the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” (repeated on the front endpapers), Lola chooses her favorite flowers from library books. Helped by her parents, she grows a grandly diverse flower garden, just right for a celebration with peas and strawberries from the family plot. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations show her garden in all its stages. They also show the copper-toned preschooler reading on her mother’s lap, making a flower book, a beaded string with bells and shells, a little Mary Mary doll and cupcakes for the celebration. Her bunchy ponytails are redone, and her flower shirt is perfect for the party. Not only has she provided the setting; she makes up a story for her friends. The simple sentences of the text and charming pictures make this a good choice for reading aloud or early reading alone. On the rear endpapers, the nursery rhyme has been adapted to celebrate “Lola, Lola, Extraordinary.”

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-694-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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