A purse full of entertainment tucked into a merry primer on money math.

MONEY MATH

ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION

Adler and Miller (Let’s Estimate, 2017, etc.) team again to poke playfully about in the world of numbers, this time using U.S. currency to add, subtract, determine value, and place decimal points.

Both Adler and Miller use a winning clarity of expression—one with words, the other with images and caricatures—to maximize the operations involved in toting up coins and keep readers visually stimulated. “The number to the left of the decimal point represents the dollars. The number to the right represents the cents.” But decimalization is not belabored, entering the story quite subliminally, for it is more important for readers to know that 100 pennies equals a dollar and that there are various permutations of coins to add up to any number between one and 100 cents; indeed, the book begins to resemble an abacus of coins equaling a particular value. (“There are 50 different ways to make 50¢.” Answers in the back.) Gradually they introduce the idea that coins operate in reverse as well: you can add them to find their worth, and you can subtract them to learn about change. The conclusion may have caregivers howling: “Doing money math is fun. Math should be fun. Some people think that going shopping and spending coins and bills is fun.” Next up from Adler and Miller: Debt Management for Six Year Olds?

A purse full of entertainment tucked into a merry primer on money math. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3698-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

HELLO AUTUMN!

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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