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A Monster Book of Dimensions

by David A. Adler & illustrated by Edward Miller

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2290-6
Publisher: Holiday House

Adler’s workmanlike introduction to the three titular geometric concepts is straightforwardly instructive and without much whimsy, but Miller’s lively accompanying artwork adds interest in the form a busy motley group of monsters engaged in cinematic pursuits.

Concepts are introduced in brisk succession: First, the various names given to dimensions of three-dimensional objects are introduced; then circumference (and its attendant dependence on pi) quickly follows perimeter; area and volume come speeding along. Direct address is partly successful—readers are invited to help measure the perimeter of the monsters’ yard and to figure out the area of a movie screen, for instance. But then there’s this kind of confounding text: “Look at the posters outside the movie theater…. Do the monsters in the posters look real?” Well, no—but the fact that they don’t isn’t just because the posters show pictures of the characters in the story. It’s because they are monsters, after all, and readers are seeing them in a two-dimensional picture-book illustration. The quick verbal and visual treatment of these concepts can appeal to math-oriented minds among preschool or primary-grade learners, but this effort misses the opportunity for an engagingly creative lure for the less math-minded.

As an introduction to geometry it lacks important depth, simplicity and clarity in its visual approach. (Informational picture book. 6-10)