Q&A #1724

Children's literature and multiplication

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jul 05, 1999 at 08:33:02
Subject: Re: Children's literature and multiplication

Here are a few titles you might find interesting.  I found them in a
search of the Barnes and Noble site.  They certainly are not all the
possibilities, but they are a start. The first few present the connection
between multiplication and division.  There are a few titles at the end that
focus more on addition and subtraction, but you might be able to play around
with them.

A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes  and Bonnie MacKain for children aged
between 6 and 9.

Synopsis of the book: "A squadron of twenty-five bugs parades first in two
rows, then three, and then four, always leaving poor Joe as a remainder of one
and displeasing the queen. Joe does not give up, though, and he is finally
included when the bugs march in five rows. The rhyming story, with its jaunty
illustrations, provides an entertaining math lesson."

One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes  Bonnie Mackain for children aged
between 5 and 8.

Synopsis of the book: "One hundred hungry ants march off single file to
sample a picnic, but when the going gets too slow, they divide into two rows
of fifty, then four rows of twenty . . . until they take so long that the
picnic is gone!"

Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Mitsumasa Anno and Masaichiro Anno for
children aged 8.

Synopsis of the book: "Objects emerge from Anno's handsome jar and start
multiplying. Mathematicians call the process factoring. For readers it's a
counting game and visual feast combined"

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins for children aged between 5 and 8.

Synopsis of the book "Ma makes some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and
her two kids sit down to eat the when ding dong! the doorbell rings! More kids
arrive to share the cookies, but just when they sit down, ding dong! Finally,
when there is only one cookie for each child, the doorbell rings again. Who is
it? Grandma with a new tray of fresh baked cookies! And no one bakes cookies
as good as Grandma's! Hutchins sneaks a bit of math into this funny tale."

Pigs Will Be Pigs  by Amy Axelrod  and Sharon McGinley-Nally for children aged
between 5 and 9.

Synopsis of the book: "Meet Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig, and the piglets. Here's a
family that must add, subtract, multiply and divide, and think about the way
money works in order to satisfy their big pig appetites. Join the fun! Come
pig out on math and money concepts with the Pigs!"

Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hong for children aged
between 5 and 8.

Synopsis of the book: "Mr. and Mrs. Haktak find a magic pot that makes a copy
of everything that gets put inside it. The Haktaks are delighted until Mrs.
Haktak falls into the pot, and the trouble begins . . ".

Splash! by Ann Jonas for children aged between 4 and 7.

Synopsis of the book: "In this picture book, which cleverly handles the
principles of addition and subtraction, a young black girl keeps track of
what's going on in her backyard. "I have a pond in my backyard. I have one
turtle, two catfish, three frogs, and four goldfish. I feed them every day."
Jonas provides a peaceful, lazy scene at the edge of the pond and under the

Rooster's off to See the World by Eric Carle for children aged between 5 and

Synopsis of the book: "A rooster who wants to see the world is accompanied,
and then abandoned, by two cats, three frogs, four turtles, and five fishes
in this story that is also a device for elementary addition and subtraction.
The artwork is handsome; the endpapers are charming."

I would also recommend The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.  There is a
section of this novel in which Milo and his friends visit the Mathemagician
and eat Division Stew.

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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