Monday, September 30, 2019

Now what? A math tale by Robie Harris, illustrated by Chris Chatterton

This simple story introduces basic problem-solving to the youngest of children and makes an excellent addition to block or math programs for little ones.

The story starts with a cute little puppy dragging a purple bag across the floor. They dump it out to reveal a small selection of classic wooden blocks. The puppy addresses a teddy bear while examining the blocks and identifies a rectangle - but it's too short to sleep on. The puppy continues to investigate the blocks, discovering more shapes by looking at their sides, and comparing them to the rectangle block to build a larger bed. Eventually, the puppy puts together rectangles, squares, and triangles to make a little bed. They curl up for a snooze, covered by a blanket and in company with the teddy bear.

The backgrounds are white, pastel blue, or yellow. The pictures are simple, including only the puppy, set of blocks, green blanket, and teddy. The teddy is not anthropomorphic; it's just a stuffed, old-fashioned teddy bear. The simple illustrations put the emphasis on the wooden blocks, which are photographs of classic blocks produced by Community Playthings, who are mentioned in the back.

This joins Harris' other math tale, Crash! Boom!, also illustrated by Chatterton, in explaining simple math and problem-solving to very young children. Read it before a block party, use it in a storytime on shapes, or with simple math programs for young children.

Verdict: A strong addition to both library and school collections, filling a gap in books for the youngest-readers and math-focused offerings.

ISBN: 9780763678289; Published May 2019 by Candlewick; Review copy provided by LT Early Reviewers; Donated to the library

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