SLUGGERS' CAR WASH by Stuart J. Murphy


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One of life's little skills—making change—gets an airing in yet another elementary math story from the indefatigable Murphy (see above, etc.). The Sluggers are desperately in need of new T-shirts for their upcoming championship game. They decide upon the time-honored car-wash route; the crux of this lesson in adding and subtracting is in making correct change—which, of course, brings the decimal into play as well. They charge $3.50 for each washing, then contend with the many variations of change-making: "The driver gave CJ a ten-dollar bill. CJ counted. 'Hmm, 3 dollars and 50 cents plus 2 quarters makes 4 dollars, plus 1 dollar makes 5 dollars, plus 5 dollars makes 10 dollars.' He gave her back 6 dollars and 2 quarters." On the afternoon goes in an air of jollity—Saltzberg (Hip, Hip, Hooray, Day, p. 264, etc.) keeps the mood light with his simple, gingery artwork—with CJ toting the lucre on his clipboard. As Murphy's notes at the end suggest, lots of math/money games can be spun off from this story and the basic ability to make correct change (one that seems to have escaped many store clerks) can start on the road to becoming second nature. (short bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-446248-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HarperCollins