PATTERNS IN PERU

AN ADVENTURE IN PATTERNING

This latest mathematical adventure explores patterning. Matt and Bibi are in Peru so their scientist parents can help decode the patterns on a 500-year-old tunic. All the adventure-loving twins need to hear is that the tunic belonged to the messenger of a never-discovered hidden city, and they are off and running. Riding on guanacos high in the mountains, the only thing Matt can find to keep him warm is the aforementioned tunic. Rather fortuitous, as the patterns on the tunic help them survive pitfalls along the way, while the last two patterns are the key to unlocking the city’s doors. Langdo’s vibrantly colored watercolors support the text, but are not enough to help readers decipher the last pattern. Focusing on repeating, positional and growing patterns, this would benefit from more examples since the story overwhelms the math. A final note provides ideas for activities to practice patterning. Similar flaws mar all the books in this series, this being no exception: lack of adult supervision, disregard for artifacts and the twins’ reliance on pure luck to save the day. All in all a disappointment, although it does fill a gap in the shelf for this concept. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8050-7954-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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