Review Blog

Jul 02 2019

Now what? a Math tale by Tobie H Harris

cover image

Illus. by Chris Chatterton. Candlewick Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780763678289.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Maths, STEM, Problem solving. Puppy is full of energy but also likes to snooze. He has a pile of differently shaped blocks and for his snooze, looks at one which is a rectangle with one long side. Is this the one he needs for a bed, he ponders. Problem solving skills will be at the fore of every reader's mind as they turn each page. The enticing little dog picks up the blocks, wondering how to put them together and how to use each to its best potential. Each block is described, some rectangles, some squares and some triangles, while each individual block is described with its angles and sides mentioned, teaching a young reader about the difference between the shapes he or she sees.
Wanting a bed, the puppy tries out each of the shapes and decides why the ones he has tried are not the shape of size he needs. He eventually begins to combine the shapes into a larger shape that will prove to be useful. By this time, readers will be calling out which shapes to use, seeing the configuration that is needed to make a bed.
Lots of fun will be had reading this book, playing with shapes on the floor to replicate what the puppy is doing on the pages, and having all the readers try out the sequence for themselves.
The bold illustrations have the wooden shapes as the main focus, unhindered by background colour or distraction, making the clear focus of the book the shapes the puppy is playing with. The playful dog helps the readers work out exactly what the dog is doing and so enable the readers to join in and try for themselves.
Fran Knight

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