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Math Potatoes

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Booklist 5/1/5-05 The seventh in Tang's math series, which includes The Grapes of Math (2000), this picture book uses all kinds of visual tricks to demonstrate how to makearithmetic faster and easier. On each double-page spread, a rhyming verse has fun with a variety of subjects. Most rhymes are about foods-including pickles, potatoes, and "flat- jacks'7--and the clear, bright, computer-generated pictures are as playful as the words. This goes far beyond the usual simple counting book. The games are complex, the visuals are tricky, and although the rhyme seems straightforward ("Instead of adding row by row/ Columns are the way to go"), it requires readers to think carefully about adding, subtracting, and multiplying. "Imagine eight in every row / Just subtract and you will know." The spacious, illustrated answer pages at the back explain the puzzles, which will be fun for classroom use as well as for kids trying to find shortcuts in the counting jungle.-Hazel Rochma

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