BIGGER, BETTER, BEST! by Stuart J. Murphy


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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This Math Start title entwines the basic geometry concept of area, with an engaging family story of sibling rivalry. Jenny and Jeff argue about everything. When the family moves to a new house, each child selects a bedroom, and then they argue about which room is best: “ ‘Ha! I told you my room is better,’ Jenny said. ‘Look how big my window is.’ ‘I’ve got a window too,’ said Jeff. ‘Bet mine is bigger.’ ” Since one window is long and narrow and the other is a square, it’s not easy to tell which is bigger. Long-suffering mom encourages them to solve the problem mathematically, suggesting they cover each window with sheets of paper and count the sheets to determine which window is bigger. When they discover the windows are the same size, though one window is four rows of three and the other two rows of six, they next argue about the size of the rooms. Now dad helps, suggesting they measure the area of each room with newspaper. Once again they measure to a draw. Parents and teachers will be relieved these argumentative kids are fictional, but they are an excellent vehicle for practical math concepts. The author concludes with follow-up for parents and children, suggesting additional activities and a short booklist. Sprightly pen-and-wash illustrations show a tag and tumble family with enough spunk and sass to keep them from becoming saccharine. Nicely done. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-028918-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002


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