Another solid shape book that will grow with young geometry learners; don’t let the picture-book format fool you—high...

CIRCLES

Following Triangles (2014), Adler and Miller tackle another shape.

Again beginning with a definition and descriptions of basic three-dimensional figures and what they are called (sphere, cone, cylinder), Adler quickly ramps up to naming the parts of a circle—radius, diameter, chord, arc. Readers use their own circles, traced onto and cut from paper, and rulers (marked only in English measurements in Miller’s illustrations) to explore these concepts as well as symmetry and intersection. Brightly colored cartoon animals created from geometric shapes (largely circles) ask children to find and count radii, major and minor sectors, and chords. The learning deepens again as Adler looks at ways to find the circumference and area of a circle and the formulas involving pi. The only mathematical calculations readers are asked to do is in determining the area of six different circles using the formula radius x radius x pi = area. A final page looks at the usefulness and ubiquity of circles, though it seems more of an introduction than a conclusion, especially given its simplicity after some math that can be pretty difficult for young learners. Backmatter includes a glossary and the answers to the questions posed in the text.

Another solid shape book that will grow with young geometry learners; don’t let the picture-book format fool you—high schoolers could use some of this math. (Informational picture book. 6-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3642-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories.

PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS

Percy Jackson takes a break from adventuring to serve up the Greek gods like flapjacks at a church breakfast.

Percy is on form as he debriefs readers concerning Chaos, Gaea, Ouranos and Pontus, Dionysus, Ariadne and Persephone, all in his dude’s patter: “He’d forgotten how beautiful Gaea could be when she wasn’t all yelling up in his face.” Here they are, all 12 Olympians, plus many various offspring and associates: the gold standard of dysfunctional families, whom Percy plays like a lute, sometimes lyrically, sometimes with a more sardonic air. Percy’s gift, which is no great secret, is to breathe new life into the gods. Closest attention is paid to the Olympians, but Riordan has a sure touch when it comes to fitting much into a small space—as does Rocco’s artwork, which smokes and writhes on the page as if hit by lightning—so readers will also meet Makaria, “goddess of blessed peaceful deaths,” and the Theban Teiresias, who accidentally sees Athena bathing. She blinds him but also gives him the ability to understand the language of birds. The atmosphere crackles and then dissolves, again and again: “He could even send the Furies after living people if they committed a truly horrific crime—like killing a family member, desecrating a temple, or singing Journey songs on karaoke night.”

The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories. (Mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8364-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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