CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 16. . . .December 17, 2010.
Tiffany Stone, Kari-Lynn Winters & Lori Sherritt-Fleming. Illustrated by Scott Ritchie.
Vancouver, BC: Gumboot Books, 2009.
48 pp., pbk., $14.99.
Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-8.
Review by Linda Ludke.
Two biscuits for Poodle.
Four for Pug.
Beagle has six,
tucked under the rug.
Eight for Yorkie.
She yaps with glee.
Ten for Whippet.
Time for tea!
Poetry and math have a lot in common. Stanzas are made up of a number of lines, and lines are made up of a number of syllables. There are shapes in math and in concrete poetry. Counting out loud and reciting a poem both have rhythmic appeal. The seven poems in this collection explore primary math concepts.
The opening selection, "aRHYTHMetic," is a patterned chant that invites children to chime in. Pooches skip count by 2s in "Teacup Pups," and cats also consume treats in increments of 2 in "Kitty Chat." Cows explain the difference between first, second and third in "Third in the Herd." Two-dimensional shapes are found everywhere in "The Shape of Things" - from a tiger's "Triangle tooth" to a girl's rhombus shaped kite. Groups of "Rot-TEN Dragons!" play hockey, juggle balls and ride on scooters in multiples of 10 up to 100. When "Princess Estimation" receives a Dalmatian pup for her birthday, she demonstrates her estimating skills.
Scot Ritchie's watercolour cartoon illustrations offer many opportunities for more counting practice. The 100 dragons are all different sizes, colours and patterns. Cat treats are in the shape of mice, goldfish and sardines. Bright, detailed pages invite closer inspection.
The breezy, fun poems make a good attempt at presenting math in an accessible manner.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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