Social learners and budding math lovers alike will find something awesome about this exceptional man.

THE BOY WHO LOVED MATH

THE IMPROBABLE LIFE OF PAUL ERDOS

An exuberant and admiring portrait introduces the odd, marvelously nerdy, way cool Hungarian-born itinerant mathematical genius.

Heiligman’s joyful, warm account invites young listeners and readers to imagine a much-loved boy completely charmed by numbers. Paul Erdos was sweetly generous throughout his life with the central occupation of his great brain: solving mathematical problems. Unmoored from the usual ties of home and family once grown, he spent most of his career traveling the world to work with colleagues. Erdos was known for his ineptness at practical matters even as he was treasured, housed and fed by those with whom he collaborated in math. The polished, disarming text offers Pham free rein for lively illustration that captures Erdos’ childlike spirit. She uses a slightly retro palette and line to infuse Erdos’ boyhood surroundings with numbers and diagrams, conveying the idea that young Paul lived and breathed math. She populates his adulthood with his affectionate colleagues, even including a graph with Erdos at the center of several dozen of the great mathematical minds of the 20th century to illustrate the whimsical “Erdos number” concept. An extensive author’s note includes a bit more biographical information about Erdos and points to George Csicsery’s 1993 film N is a Number as well as to Heiligman’s website for links for further exploration. Pham’s illustrator’s note invites young readers to go page by page to learn about the kinds of numbers that captivated Erdos and to meet him among his cherished mathematicians.

Social learners and budding math lovers alike will find something awesome about this exceptional man. (Picture book/biography. 3-9)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59643-307-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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