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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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

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A solid addition to Rotner’s seasonal series. Bring on summer.

HELLO WINTER!

Rotner follows up her celebrations of spring and autumn with this look at all things winter.

Beginning with the signs that winter is coming—bare trees, shorter days, colder temperatures—Rotner eases readers into the season. People light fires and sing songs on the solstice, trees and plants stop growing, and shadows grow long. Ice starts to form on bodies of water and windows. When the snow flies, the fun begins—bundle up and then build forts, make snowballs and snowmen (with eyebrows!), sled, ski (nordic is pictured), skate, snowshoe, snowboard, drink hot chocolate. Animals adapt to the cold as well. “Birds grow more feathers” (there’s nothing about fluffing and air insulation) and mammals, more hair. They have to search for food, and Rotner discusses how many make or find shelter, slow down, hibernate, or go underground or underwater to stay warm. One page talks about celebrating holidays with lights and decorations. The photos show a lit menorah, an outdoor deciduous tree covered in huge Christmas bulbs, a girl next to a Chinese dragon head, a boy with lit luminarias, and some fireworks. The final spread shows signs of the season’s shift to spring. Rotner’s photos, as always, are a big draw. The children are a marvelous mix of cultures and races, and all show their clear delight with winter.

A solid addition to Rotner’s seasonal series. Bring on summer. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3976-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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