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ALBERT DOUBLES THE FUN

From the Mouse Math series

An enabling alternative to or companion for Stuart Murphy’s Double the Ducks, illustrated by Valeria Petrone (2003), in the...

This new entry in the Mouse Math series sends Albert to the fair, where there are plenty of opportunities to double up.

His friend Leo out when Albert comes calling, the little mouse heads to the fair with big sister Wanda and buys two maps (one for Leo), rides the Ferris wheel four times—twice for himself and then twice more for Leo—wins the pie-eating contest by chowing down on three slices and then three more, and plays the ring toss until he wins the eight tokens needed for two packages of five Robo-Rat action figures. At each stop the arithmetical doubling is depicted below the simple cartoon illustrations both with number sentences and iconic images of such items as tickets or pie slices. Suggestions for discussion topics and enrichment activities at the end are addressed to educators, but young readers should have no trouble themselves re-creating the paper-towel–tube ring toss that Albert and Leo set up after discovering that they had both been to the fair and now have an oversupply of Robo-Rats. Simultaneously publishing are Albert Helps Out (using coins) and Where’s Albert? (skip counting), both also by May, and Bravo, Albert! (patterns), by Lori Haskins Houran.

An enabling alternative to or companion for Stuart Murphy’s Double the Ducks, illustrated by Valeria Petrone (2003), in the venerable MathStart series. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-57565-835-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kane Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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LUCY'S LIGHT

Too many bugs, figuratively.

Lucy, “the youngest member of a family of fireflies,” must overcome an irrational, moon-induced anxiety in order to leave her family tree trunk and glow.

The first six pages pull readers into a lush, beautiful world of nighttime: “When the sun has set, silence falls over the Big Forest, and all of the nighttime animals wake up.” Mixed media provide an enchanting forest background, with stylized flora and fauna eventually illuminated by a large, benign moon, because the night “doesn’t like to catch them by surprise.” Turning the page catches readers by surprise, though: the family of fireflies is decidedly comical and silly-looking. Similarly, the text moves from a lulling, magical cadence to a distinct shift in mood as the bugs ready themselves for their foray into the night: “They wave their bottoms in the air, wiggle their feelers, take a deep, deep breath, and sing, ‘Here we go, it’s time to glow!’ ” It’s an acceptable change, but more unevenness follows. Lucy’s excitement about finally joining the other bugs turns to “sobbing” two nights in a row. Instead of directly linking her behavior to understandable reactions of children to newness, the text undermines itself by making Lucy’s parents’ sweet reassurances impotent and using the grandmother’s scientific explanation of moonlight as an unnecessary metaphor. Further detracting from the story, the text becomes ever denser and more complex over the book’s short span.

Too many bugs, figuratively. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-84-16147-00-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cuento de Luz

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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