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)