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Saturday, May 14, 2011

this plus that, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace. Harper, 2011. $16.99 ages 5 and up

"red + blue = purple
blue + yellow = green
yellow + red = orange

red + orange + yellow + green
+ blue + indigo + violet =

Her love of words and sense of humor intact, this creative author has taken equations to new heights and understanding in this little charmer of a book about playing with language. She begins with a few easy ones to get our heads around the game and then lets loose with idea after idea to show us the power of language and imagination.
What an invitation she provides to young writers! While math equations were never my strong point, I can see that I would have had great fun trying these language equations. As with everything, we get better with practice and I think that the longer you let kids try their hand at them (either alone or with a partner), the more diverse and interesting they will become.

Even the endpapers share the joy of friendship between sun and cloud. We meet the two narrators right away and learn that they are a pair: "1 + 1 = US" Even when disagreeing, they can come up with a suitable equation: "yes + no = maybe". As they become more complicated, they require some higher level thinking skills.

Think "cozy + smell of pancakes - alarm clock = weekend". Now, there's some math I CAN do! Put your thinking cap on and get to work. There's fun to be had!

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