Odds are, Goldstone’s latest math title will provide readers with both the vocabulary and the practice to make them likely experts at determining probability.
Certain, likely, (im)possible, (im)probable, odds: These are the words that Goldstone focuses on, highlighting them in the text, defining them and providing well-chosen, kid-friendly photos and digital illustrations so they can put them to use. Six lines of birds on electrical wires prompt the question: “If one of these birds flies away, what color will it probably be? What colors are possible, but not likely? What colors are impossible?” From gumball and prize machines to coin tosses, cards and dice, Goldstone leaves no stone unturned. His scenario involving game spinners is especially good—players have to choose between two spinners, and spots on the game board that say “Go back to START” and “Jump to FINISH” have to be taken into consideration. The book finishes with a look at permutations. A stuffed bear with 10 shirts and 10 pairs of pants has a total of 100 different combinations to choose among (and they are all shown!). A race with two racers has two possible results, but add a third entrant, and the possibilities go up to six. Backmatter provides readers with a few probability-related activities, an author’s note and a few notes on answers to the questions in the text.
Certain to be popular with teachers, this is also certain to improve any child’s understanding. (Informational picture book. 7-10)