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Monster Math


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About the Author

ANNE MIRANDA is the author of the ABBY Honor Book To Market, To Market. She lives in Madrid, Spain. POLLY POWELL has illustrated one other children's book, her own Just Dessert. She lives and paints in northern California.


"The house is a wreck and the couch has been frosted./ The food's been devoured and Mother's exhausted." But what else could be expected when a little red-nosed, green-skinned monster invites 49 of her nearest and dearest monster friends to a birthday party? From start to finish Miranda (To Market, To Market) and Powell (Just Dessert) chronicle the offbeat birthday bash with zany ‚lan, and the math lesson feels like a natural component. Things start normally enoughÄfor a monster party, at least. The first nine monster guests arrive one by one and prove a relatively manageable bunch: Mother, a multi-armed purple mutant with bright orange bouffant and harlequin spectacles, even expertly organizes a sack race for the assembled ghouls. But when more monsters start arrivingÄin groups of 10, no lessÄand finally number 50, Mother realizes that the situation is out of hand, and she instigates some major monster subtraction. Within a few pages, the little green birthday monster is left alone, but she's "grateful and glad./ It's the best birthday party that she's ever had!" Powell's mega-motley monster crew is a hoot (even very sensitive children will be hard pressed to find one beastie that's genuinely scary), and Miranda once again shows that she has few rivals when it comes to spinning out a story of comic chaos. Ages 3-8. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

K-Gr 2-A counting book that shows a little monster greeting guests arriving for a party. The rhyming text describes the guests' antics and the eventual chaos: "Nine sticky monsters are washing their faces./Ten speedy monsters run ten monster races./The monsters keep coming and Mother's lost count./Ten more make twenty-a monstrous amount!" The numbers mount until there are 50 revelers in all. They leave in varying-sized groups until just one little monster remains. The party ends with an exhausted mother, a wrecked house, and a little monster that is "grateful and glad./It's the best birthday party that she's ever had!" The chubby, toylike creatures, each different, are shown in friendly, bouncy poses. The pages are filled with action, but most of the activities are not particularly imaginative and there is little in the way of wordplay. The story line functions primarily as a vehicle for counting and introducing the concepts of addition and subtraction. Kate Duke's One Guinea Pig Is Not Enough (Dutton, 1998) tells a bit more of a story through the illustrations. Some children, however, may find the little monsters' antics appealing and enjoy seeing the pages fill up with creatures as the numbers increase.-Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

A grand addition to the counting shelf.--Kirkus Reviews
The pages are filled with action.--School Library Journal
A story of comic chaos.--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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