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TALLY O’MALLEY by Stuart J. Murphy


by Stuart J. Murphy & illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-053162-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

Murphy takes on the ancient and deeply gratifying concept of tallying in this Level 2 entry in his MathStart series. You can almost imagine a shepherd counting the sheep as they enter the fold for the night, but here it’s the O’Malley family making a game out of tallying to help ease the hours demanded by their car trip to the beach. First they decide upon something to count, then they pick a color; tally sheets are passed out on which they make tally marks. The mood in the car instantly improves—especially for the winner, not to mention the parents (total groovesters in Jabar’s zippy, flower-power artwork), enjoying the whine-free environment. The kids get both distraction and a dose of learning how to collect numerical data over time, grouping them into bundles of five (giving the fives tables a boost), which look, curiously, like sheaths of wheat that shepherd might have seen as he drove the sheep through the fields. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)