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ALBERT ADDS UP!

From the Mouse Math series

A solid Mouse Math entry that will help youngsters just beginning to add and subtract by ones and twos.

When Wanda brings home the second of Captain Slime’s adventures from the library, Albert will offer her almost anything to get his paws on it.

Before Wanda even has her coat off, Albert is offering to let her play with “one of [his] favorite toys,” and he runs off to get it. Not letting her finish any of her sentences (which means he always gets the impression that she is saying no), he continually adds items to the ever growing pile: 1+1=2. The offerings grow increasingly wilder and more outlandish, from Albert’s pet worms to the giant birthday gumball (that’s not so much a ball anymore: “[Y]ou can chew it as much as you like before you give it back”). But Wanda is not impressed with any of them and doesn’t want to trade Captain Slime, so Albert slowly subtracts each item. Wanda finally gets a word in edgewise and admits she checked the book out for him all along. Melmon’s bright illustrations capture Albert’s enthusiasm as well as Wanda’s exasperation, and though the two are mice, their mouse hole will seem cozily familiar to readers. A publisher’s letter to parents and educators explains how Albert and Wanda can be an important part of math education for children, while the backmatter provides ways for adults and children to interact mathematically. A Mousy Mess, by Laura Driscoll but also illustrated by Melmon, publishes simultaneously.

A solid Mouse Math entry that will help youngsters just beginning to add and subtract by ones and twos. (Math picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-57565-744-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

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. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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