HOW MANY SEEDS IN A PUMPKIN?

From the Mr. Tiffin's Classroom series

The smallest boy in class learns an important lesson about size in this delightful tale that combines a boost in self-esteem and a math lesson. Charlie loves everything about school except lining up by size—he is always the smallest. One fall day, his teacher presents the class with three pumpkins: small, medium and large. They must predict how many seeds are in each, then do the messy but fun work of removing the seeds. For homework, they think of how they should count them all. One group counts by twos, one by fives and Charlie counts the smallest pumpkin’s seeds by tens. The final tally is a surprise to everyone, with a not-so-subtle message that “Small things can have a lot going on inside them.” A page of pumpkin facts will have readers wanting to grow their own pumpkins. Karas’s watercolors charmingly portray Mr. Tiffin’s busy class hard at work, but having fun learning. The children’s faces vividly express the wide range of reactions to pumpkin guts, as well as Charlie’s uncertainty about being the smallest. This will resound well with elementary-school teachers, who will find it useful for teaching prediction, skip counting and even beginning multiplication. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-375-84014-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2007

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THE BOY WHO LOVED WORDS

A charmingly prolix tall tale of a boy so word-obsessed that he collects new words on slips of paper. They bulge from his pockets, float around his head and fill his world. Classmates nickname Selig “Wordsworth” and give him a word for his collection: “oddball.” The discovery that his purpose in life is to share his carefully chosen words with others leads to success and love. And, “if, one day, . . . the perfect word just seems to come to you . . . you’ll know that Selig is near.” Schotter’s words are enlivened by Potter’s distinctively naïve figures, all placed in settings in which words and labels are scattered about in a way that invites close inspection and promotes purposeful inquiry. It all adds up to an *exultant encounter, chockablock with tintinnabulating gusto (*see tantalizing glossary appended). A gift to precocious children and teachers as well. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83601-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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Whether in hand or on shelf, this one’s sure to make a splash anywhere and everywhere.

I'M ON IT!

From the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series

A frog tries to do everything a goat does, too.

Goat asks Frog to look at them before declaring “I’m ON it!” while balancing atop a tree stump near a pond. After an “Oooh!” and a “You know what?” Frog leaps off their lily pad to balance on a rock: “I’m on it, too!” Goat grabs a prop so that they can be both “on it AND beside it.” (It may take young readers a little bit to realize there are two its.) So does Frog. The competition continues as Frog struggles to mimic overconfident Goat’s antics. In addition to on and beside, the pair adds inside, between, under, and more. Eventually, it all gets to be too much for Frog to handle, so Frog falls into the water, resumes position on the lily pad, and declares “I am OVER it” while eating a fly. In an act of solidarity, Goat jumps in, too. In Tsurumi’s first foray into early readers she pares down her energetic, colorful cartoon style to the bare essentials without losing any of the madcap fun. Using fewer than 80 repeated words (over 12 of which are prepositions), the clever text instructs, delights, and revels in its own playfulness. Color-coded speech bubbles (orange for Goat, green for Frog) help match the dialogue with each speaker. Like others in the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series, Elephant and Piggie metafictively bookend the main narrative with hilariously on-the-nose commentary.

Whether in hand or on shelf, this one’s sure to make a splash anywhere and everywhere. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-06696-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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