Multiplies the good times for young mathematicians.



A thorough introduction to understanding multiplication and division.

In this follow-up to Do Not Open This Math Book: Addition + Subtraction (2018), celebrated mathematician, writer, and actor McKellar returns to guide young readers through multiplication and division via a punny time-machine motif. Comic strips that introduce each section feature McKellar and her two companions (pessimistic Mr. Mouse returns and is joined by peppy Ms. Squirrel) traveling through humorous historical anecdotes that serve as jumping-off points for the math, sometimes in unexpected ways. The organizational flow is intuitive. Charts and visualizations are presented to help readers solve basic problems by understanding number relationships; then memorization tricks are given to help master times tables (some clever, some rhymed); finally, McKellar tackles more complicated concepts (the order of operations, or PEMDAS—with pandas; multidigit problems; and long division). The visuals throughout help in keeping the material so simple that even adults will be able to follow math pedagogy they didn’t learn but that’s currently being used in schools (and there’s a guide in the backmatter). The brilliant-through-simplicity textual explanations are easily accessible to independent readers, and the problem sets (“Game Time” sections in each chapter) are set up for readers to succeed. For extras and more math, McKellar points readers to the book’s website and to her more-advanced middle school book, Math Doesn’t Suck (2008).

Multiplies the good times for young mathematicians. (answer key, index) (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-93402-9

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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This work answers questions about abortions in accessible and compassionate terms.


This debut picture book explains what an abortion is, reasons for getting one, and reactions afterward.

In this unusual work for children 8 and older, Manes, an abortion doula, brings a humane spirit to the subject. Pages display one or two sentences with the cheery, tropical-colored illustrations taking up most of the space. Young readers are told that when a person gets pregnant, the result may be a healthy birth, a miscarriage, or sometimes an abortion, defined as “when someone decides to stop growing their pregnancy.” To keep a pregnancy from growing, individuals could see a doctor who performs a procedure or take medicine. The text explains that people have different reasons for abortions, including that a pregnancy would make them ill. The important point is that it’s their decision. Afterward, they may have varied feelings, but “they deserve to be treated with love and respect.” A note asserts that the book aims “to be a resource for young people who are curious about abortion” or know someone who has had one. Observing that “folks of all different gender identities have abortions,” the author employs inclusive language throughout. Explanations are clear though somewhat skimpy; for example, what does a “procedure” consist of? While one image shows a clinic’s exterior, most of the pictures by illustrator Emulsify depict smiling, happy people of diverse races, abilities, and gender identities; bright interiors; or attractive landscapes and flowers, boosting the affirmative tone.

This work answers questions about abortions in accessible and compassionate terms.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

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Adequate science; inadequate art and plot.



From the Everyday Science Academy series

A picture book that explains the physics of waves.

Red Kangaroo, the protagonist of this story and the one whose questions propel the flimsy plot, relaxes on a beach and ponders the surf, then decides to ask Dr. Chris whether “waves ever stop.” Dr. Chris, a lab-coated white man with pale skin and rosy cheeks, answers this question and all the others that Red Kangaroo poses about waves. Throughout the story, Dr. Chris teaches Red Kangaroo about wavelength, electromagnetic waves, the visible light spectrum, microwaves, X-rays, and more. Many of the key terms appear in boldface type, and in the extensive backmatter, the glossary offers definitions of all of the terms discussed. There’s also a quiz to help readers check their learning as well as several hands-on activities, with illustrations, to get kids experimenting with waves themselves. Much more instructional than entertaining, this book, like Let’s Fly a Plane, a simultaneously publishing companion in Ferrie’s Everyday Science Academy series, would be suitable additions to science lessons but not likely pleasure reading. Furthermore, the poor-quality illustrations, with repeated depictions of a lecturing Dr. Chris showing barely any variation from spread to spread—or book to book, for that matter—help explain concepts but add nothing aesthetically.

Adequate science; inadequate art and plot. (Informational picture book. 8-10 )

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8058-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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