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WHOLE-Y COW! by Taryn Souders


Fractions Are Fun

by Taryn Souders, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58536-460-2
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Souders’s debut is a funny look at one whole cow who decides to act differently, allowing readers the chance to practice their fractions. Barely passable rhyming couplets tell of her craziness: “One whole cow sat down to play the cello / while eating a daisy that was orange and bright yellow.” Questions in a different type then ask readers to identify the fractional parts of the daisy by looking at the picture. Stunt by goofy stunt, beginning with halves, youngsters work their way up to tenths. The final spread gives the answers beside miniaturized versions of the pictures. Combining watercolors with some collage, Mai-Wyss’s illustrations make the book come alive. Her cow is wonderfully wacky, and observant readers will enjoy the antics of her three chicken companions. While the artwork makes it easy for children to see and count the fractional parts, there is no instruction given as to what fractions are or how to make/reduce them, making this more of a practice exercise than a teaching tool. Add in the stumbling verse, and this one's a miss. (Picture book. 6-10)