Next book


Two-digit subtraction is the subject of this MathStart picture book, which beats its one-note song slowly and relentlessly. Murphy builds this story, the latest in his series of math fundamentals, around a group of young shark swimmers who have a chance to attend swim camp if they can complete 75 laps among themselves over a week’s time. The coach has set up an easel by the pool, tallying their laps and then subtracting them from the running total on the easel. And that, quite simply, is how far Murphy takes the narrative, if such flimsy material can be called a story. There is nothing here to entice any child who is anxious, uninterested, or confused about math to get involved with either the subtraction or the story angle of the book. Murphy might just as well have presented a handful of subtraction problems on each page and forgotten all about the vapid story line, because the only kids who will find interest in these pages are those who really love mathematics, and there isn’t enough here for them to chew on to any satisfaction. (Picture book. 7-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-028030-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

Close Quickview