ONE...TWO...THREE... SASSAFRAS! by Stuart J. Murphy


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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Murphy sets up this beginning-level, math-concept outing to give readers a sense of numerical order, leading them down the road to place value. He buries the math in his typical good humor—even if the repetitive nature of the story line does begin to pale by the end—and sends words like “sassafras,” “fiddlesticks,” and “great galloping gillywhoppers” zinging through the pages. The plot revolves around Uncle Howie’s desire to get family snapshots of a burgeoning group of cousins: first a handful, then a small gathering, then an entire company. He has them arrange themselves by age, though he throws in a kicker when a 13-year-old girl is shorter than an 11-year-old boy, giving readers the idea that the kids might be arranged in different orders, like height or alphabet. His notes at the end give suggestions on how the ideas can be expanded upon by readers to further develop their familiarity with numbers. Though Wallace puts more of a scowl on Uncle Howie’s face than might be warranted, his cartoon art has a pleasurably unruly character that fits the story well. (short bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-028916-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2002


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