The dash of humor in the text is a welcome addition.

HELP ME LEARN SUBTRACTION

Marzollo and Phillips’ third collaboration gives readers both the vocabulary and the vertical and horizontal number sentences that will introduce them to basic subtraction.

This outing begins with an addition problem, and the sassy little wooden figures in the corner kibitz, remarking that it is not subtraction. But there is a method to the madness—Marzollo is making the connection between addition and subtraction, pointing out that they are opposites (and also adding in a little welcome comic relief). As in the previous two books (Help Me Learn Addition, 2012, etc.), sometimes-forced rhyming verses set up a math problem, the answer left blank in the rhyme but provided in parentheses within the text. “6 shy dinosaurs don’t know / what to do. / So 4 try to hide! / That leaves ____ (2).” Each page provides a number sentence to go with the rhyme, mixing up the format, with some vertical, some horizontal, and some using words instead of numbers. One page is an especial challenge to readers, asking them to solve "11 - ? = 9" (and failing to provide the answer). But Phillips’ photographs give the youngest readers the visuals they need to solve the problems. Some new knickknacks make it into his scenes, but they are heavy on fuzzy yellow chicks and Brushkin animals.

The dash of humor in the text is a welcome addition. (Math picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2401-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more