TREASURE MAP

“Mapping” is the focus of this Level 3 title in Stuart’s popular MathStart series. The Elm Street Kids’ Club finds an old map leading to a buried time capsule; full-bleed illustrations appear throughout as the children follow the map’s clues. Leave it to Tusa, though, to add to the story as the presence of a giant (legs sticking out from under the map; disappearing into a door in the hill; face peering over the landscape) suggests something else is up. The clues, however, don’t require much mathematical thinking at all. “Walk 125 steps” is about as math-oriented as they get, though they do double the number later. Although sections of the map are occasionally enlarged, readers really can’t follow along even to test their skills of turning left or right or noting where the symbols lie without going back to the second page. As a stand-alone story, this one is weak, made appealing by Tusa’s fancy. A few mapping activities are included in the back that prove the most useful aspect of this questionable purchase. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-06-028036-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2004

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100TH DAY WORRIES

1882

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82979-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1999

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This may spark a few imaginations, but its lack of directions and the difficulty level of most of the projects—not to...

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH ONLY ONE SHOE?

REUSE, RECYCLE, REINVENT

Readers learn how to “Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent” what some might call trash into treasures.  

Rhyming poems each introduce a single way to reuse/reinvent something: A toilet becomes a planter, the titular shoe morphs into a birdhouse, a (very large, nonstandard) light bulb houses a fish, and favorite jeans that are holey? They become a new purse. The most creative has to be a table supported by a pitchfork: “If you’re wanting to picnic on uneven ground, / where your table’s unstable or up on a mound, / stop and think! Be creative! The answer’s around.” While cans, wood and wire are both easily found and transformed into musical instruments, not all these projects use such common materials or are as simple to complete: Half of a boat turns into a covered bench, a car becomes a bed, and a grocery cart transforms into a chair. And although it’s neat to see a farmer’s new watering trough (an enormous tire) and a community’s new playground (an old ambulance anchors it), these are not projects that are likely to fire readers up to do similar things. Cartoon spot illustrations share space with photographs of the new inventions, and both are needed to make sense of the poems.

This may spark a few imaginations, but its lack of directions and the difficulty level of most of the projects—not to mention its failure to impart reasons for reducing, reusing and recycling—make this one to skip. (Poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55451-642-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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