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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An auspicious primer on some very big numbers.

A HUNDRED BILLION TRILLION STARS

Huge numbers take on an even bigger scale in Fishman and Greenberg’s insightful, awe-inspiring picture book.

A secret shared between narrator and the reader kicks things off: “The sun is just a star. / And there are (maybe) 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.” (Readers will be grateful for the “a hundred billion trillion” printed in the corner.) Stars too many to count, in various sizes and shapes, fill the double-page spread, illustrating the comically large number centered on the page. It’s enough to leave most flabbergasted, but Fishman aims for much more as he zeroes in on one particular blue-and-green planet. Even this celestial orb has its secrets: “Blue because it’s covered by 370,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water. Green because it’s covered in 3,000,000,000,000 trees.” From there it’s all about the (innumerable) details. For example, 10 quadrillion ants may equal 7.5 billion humans in weight (as terrifying as that sounds); meanwhile, 420 million dogs or guitars lined up head to foot circle the Earth about 10 times. The figures aren’t precise, but quibbling over exactness almost misses the point of the book. A constant throughout this excursion, however, is Greenberg’s digital artwork, which features bold, thick lines, vibrant colors and shapes, and a diverse cast of nameless characters. More notable perhaps is the author’s persistent focus on the reader: “There’s only one of YOU.” Such a statement threatens to veer into ham-fisted territory, but here it serves to underline how amazing it is to be the only one.

An auspicious primer on some very big numbers. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245578-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more