Kids will have fun following Charlie as he solves the mystery and reinforce their fraction skills along the way

CHARLIE PIECHART AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING PIZZA SLICE

From the Charlie Piechart series

Pizza night brings a mystery, and plenty of math, to the Piechart household.

Charlie’s family of five is joined by his friend Lewis, which means that if they order a large pizza, each of them will get two slices. But can they agree on toppings? Four-sixths want nothing to do with veggies, and no one wants anchovies. Pepperoni it is. But between the pizza’s arrival and its serving, one piece has gone missing. Charlie goes into full detective mode (his dog is even named Watson!) and hunts for clues, then turns to his five suspects…though maybe he should include one more. Comstock and Sadler give readers plenty of exposure to fractions in both written and pie-chart form: fittingly, Charlie’s body is a round pie chart that changes to reflect the math around him. The authors find sneaky ways to seamlessly add more and more fractions to the tale while at the same time upping the humor: Charlie has his sisters do the burp test to see if they are guilty. Debut illustrator Comstock’s digital artwork is a retro-modern throwback, from the red, white, mustard, and turquoise palette to the asterisk designs on the plates and the furniture shapes.

Kids will have fun following Charlie as he solves the mystery and reinforce their fraction skills along the way . (Math picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-237054-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Charming characters, a clever plot and a quiet message tucked inside a humorous tale.

YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL

From the You Are (Not) Small series

Fuzzy, bearlike creatures of different sizes relate to one another in an amusing story that explores the relative nature of size.

A small purple creature meets a similarly shaped but much larger orange critter. The purple creature maintains that the orange creature is “big”; the orange one counters by calling the purple one “small.” This continues, devolving into a very funny shouting match, pages full of each type of creature hollering across the gutter. This is followed by a show-stopping double-page spread depicting two huge, blue legs and the single word “Boom!” in huge display type. Tiny, pink critters then float down by parachute, further complicating the size comparisons. Eventually, these brightly colored animals learn to see things in a different way. In the end, they decide they are all hungry and trudge off to eat together. The story is told effectively with just a few words per page, though younger readers might need help understanding the size and perspective concepts. Cartoon-style illustrations in ink and watercolor use simple shapes with heavy black outlines set off by lots of white space, with an oversized format and large typeface adding to the spare but polished design. While the story itself seems simple, the concepts are pertinent to several important social issues such as bullying and racism, as well as understanding point of view.

Charming characters, a clever plot and a quiet message tucked inside a humorous tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4778-4772-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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