# BIGGER, BETTER, BEST!

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. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-028918-X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

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# I WISH YOU MORE

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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# RAPUNZEL

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your dreads! Isadora once again plies her hand using colorful, textured collages to depict her fourth fairy tale relocated to Africa. The narrative follows the basic story line: Taken by an evil sorceress at birth, Rapunzel is imprisoned in a tower; Rapunzel and the prince “get married” in the tower and she gets pregnant. The sorceress cuts off Rapunzel’s hair and tricks the prince, who throws himself from the tower and is blinded by thorns. The terse ending states: “The prince led Rapunzel and their twins to his kingdom, where they were received with great joy and lived happily every after.” Facial features, clothing, dreadlocks, vultures and the prince riding a zebra convey a generic African setting, but at times, the mixture of patterns and textures obfuscates the scenes. The textile and grain characteristic of the hewn art lacks the elegant romance of Zelinksy’s Caldecott version. Not a first purchase, but useful in comparing renditions to incorporate a multicultural aspect. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-399-24772-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2008

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