Review Blog

Jun 12 2018

Crash! Boom! a maths tale by Robie H. Harris

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Ill. by Chris Chatterton. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406380514
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Maths. Building. Experimentation. Perseverance. STEM. Resilience. Elephant wants to build something as tall as he. He experiments, calculates, builds and when his efforts fall to the floor, he cries but he tries again. Surrounded by a number of different shaped building blocks, he tries them out, adding one to the other. Younger readers will love to call out which is the next block Elephant should pick up and delight at the shape he is building. They will offer suggestions, make deductions and encourage him to try again as the book is read, noting the numbers and shapes that are offered on each page.
He tries again until his building is finished, and this time he is the one who makes it fall down. After that he uses all the shapes on the floor around him to make a final shape.
The bucket of blocks is used over and over to make different shapes, encouraging the readers to make up their own, so have some ready.
The clear pictures are a treat, Elephant is always energetic, the pictures flowing from one page to the next, showing movement as Elephant attempts his tasks. His disappointment when his first building tumbles will be recognised by all readers, each of them having to cope with small disappointments as they try new things, but like Elephant will try again.
This is a lovely introduction to the ideas of trying things out, of experimenting, of overcoming disappointment and trying again, and is well suited to any classroom or home library where open minds are encouraged.
Fran Knight

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