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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Balancing Act, written and illustrated by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Simon & Schuster, 2010. $21.99 ages 2 and up

"The mice made a 
It was fun to balance...
one mouse on each end.

Just as she did with color, shapes and counting, Ellen Stoll Walsh has created the most amazing picture book for young learners. Her mice are back, and just as lovely and lovable as ever. This time, they are content with the simple things in life. A rock and a stick make the perfect simple machine for these two...they are in harmony.

All is well when the two mice each take an end and find just the right spot...until a salamander comes along. There is an obvious problem, and it takes another friendly salamander to bring them in balance again. Life is good! When an exuberant frog joins the mix, chaos ensues. Another frog...balance!

The last straw is a bird who wants to partake of the fun. No chance that it will work now...or will it?

The math and science concepts are so seamlessly shared that her audience will learn in spite of themselves. And isn't that the way to learn something new...effortlessly?

This is a perfect book...with just the right number of words, charming characters and built-in learning. We could not ask for more. Add to that the fact that young readers will soon be reading it on their own.


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