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Ages 5-7. This picture book presents math concepts through five little stories about teacher Miss Prime, possibly a slender hippo, and her multispecies students. Often divided into horizontal panels, the busy pages feature muted, chalk-box colours highlighted with brighter shades. Appearing in word balloons, the characters' conversations form the main text, along with facts seen on signs, blackboards, and overhead projection screens. Concepts include: dividing geometric shapes into fractions, dividing sets of objects into equal parts, cutting fruit into equal shares, and dividing a dollar into fractions. Although most of the concepts would fit into a first- or second-grade unit on basic fractions, the crowded layout and the many concepts presented make it potentially confusing as a classroom readaloud. However, as an introduction for an individual or small group, it could be useful, particularly in the hands of a parent or teacher who designs creative follow-up activities. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Loreen Leedy has written and illustrated more than thirty books for children. Her innovative books include Seeing Symmetry, which The Horn Book called "excellent," and The Great Graph Contest, which School Library Journal called "exciting and energetic" in a starred review. She lives in Florida.
Romping through boldly colored panels of art, Leedy's ( A Number of Dragons ; The Furry News ) congenial cast of animal characters helps introduce the concept of fractions. Five brief chapters tell stories as they teach. In the first, for example, Miss Prime explains basic fractions to her class of five. Balancing drawings of geometric shapes divided into sections and such familiar images as half of a sandwich and a pie cut into four pieces, Leedy makes it easy for youngsters to visualize what is meant by the various amounts. Other subjects tackled include sets, dividing objects into equal parts and subtracting and comparing the value of fractions. With mini math problems (answers to which appear at the end) and large doses of humor worked into the text, this classroom-oriented book adds up to sound, instructive fun. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)