________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 35. . . .May 14, 2010

cover

What's the Difference? An Endangered Animal Subtraction Story.

Suzanne Slade. Illustrated by Joan Waites.
Mt. Pleasant, SC: Sylvan Dell (Distributed in Canada by Codasat Canada), 2010.
32 pp., hardcover, $23.50.
ISBN 9781607180708.

Subject Headings:
Endangered species-Juvenile literature.
Subtraction-Juvenile literature.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**1/2 /4

   

excerpt:

Bowhead whales became endangered in 1970 because of commercial over-hunting. Found only in the Arctic, these giant marine mammals migrate south to the warmer waters of the sub-Arctic for winter. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) now watches over the hunting of these important animals. Ten massive whales
find a warmer place.
Three trailing far behind—
How many like to race?

10-3= ?

 

Science and mathematics come together in What's the Difference?. As shown in the excerpt above, the book's text consists of three parts. The first, the factual portion, is some 4-5 lines in length and is set off in a box. This text succinctly explains the situation of the once endangered or still endangered species, how it came to be endangered, and, if recovering or recovered, the steps that were taken or are being taken to contribute to the recovery. The second portion is a quatrain that uses an abcb rhyme scheme. Each poem's contents pose the mathematical (subtraction) problem which then finds a numerical expression via the third "text" portion.

     A dozen different creatures are treated via double page spreads: Bald eagles, prairie dogs, Karner blue butterflies, whooping cranes, spotted gopher frogs, American crocodiles, Atlantic salmon, bowhead whales, manatees, sea otters, gray bats and red wolves. Even those young children who don't yet know how to subtract will, after hearing the poem's question, be able to count out the correct answer. Teachers and parents will appreciate the four-page "For Creative Minds" section that concludes the book and which provides additional information and activities for readers. This section can either be photocopied or downloaded from www.SylvanDellPublishing.com. The website also contains "additional cross-curricular teaching activities, interactive quizzes, and more."

Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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