HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU? by Donna Jo Napoli


Age Range: 5 - 7
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Animals plan to go on a picnic in this math concept book that just misses. Rabbit and Frog plan a picnic. They are bringing 12 sandwiches. “Does that sound like enough for two of us?” “Hmmm. Okay,” replies the frog. The critical problem lies with the uninspired language of the text and Walrod’s (The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza, 1999, etc.) quirky, cheerful cut-paper collages lack of visual support required for the math concepts. Napoli (Albert, p. 263, etc.) adds another participant and then the friends need to divide 12 by 3. Again the art shows 12 cookies in rows of threes—but the sandwiches are nowhere to be seen. A crow joins the group bringing the total to 4. She brings a case of 12 pudding packs. “ . . . three rice puddings each,” says the rabbit, yet absolutely no reinforcement from the illustration—just a square white box with the label “12 puddings.” Add twin turtles, which bring along 12 sticks of gum. The rabbit says 2 of everything for each of us though the facing page shows the turtles holding the sticks of gum in groups of 3. Confusing? You bet. There’s also a continuity problem: when an additional 6 participants are added, there are 12 slices of watermelon to share. Turn the page and the watermelon is whole again. The lack of clarity continues to the end when a 13th picnicker arrives with no food to add; three pages are now taken up with dithering of how to divide the food, then everything is divided in half to have enough. The text states that there will be 11 halves left over, neglecting to show or explain how the frog arrived at that conclusion. A miscalculation through and through. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-83389-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2001


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