Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I talked about the first book in Chronicle Books’ delightful girl series Ivy and Bean (age 6-10), written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. This week I’m switching gears and looking at the non-fiction book Adding with Sebastian Pig and Friends At the Circus (age 6 to 9), written by Jill Anderson and illustrated by Amy Huntington. I have to thank Lisa from Enslow Publishers for my review copy.
Sebastian the pig is off to the circus and wants to keep track of all the different performers he sees. He carries with him a handy notebook to record his numbers and add them up. Perhaps you can help him.
My daughter loves math. Yup, you read that right. I think that’s great. I remember loving math too. But math doesn’t have to be all about worksheets and drills. When I first read about the book Adding with Sebastian Pig and Friends at the Circus on Enslow Publishers website, I thought this would be an ideal book for my daughter. It incorporates math into a story.
I must admit they didn’t seem overly enthusiastic about reading the book the first time. I’m partly to blame. I think they were expecting more of a bedtime story and I pulled this book out. But as I started to read the story they started to listen. I did find some of the writing a little clumsy; I don’t think it was necessary to break the story into chapters. However, the simple text does make it ideal for beginning readers. As for the kids, they enjoyed the animal antics depicted in the illustrations. The inclusion of Sebastian’s notebook in the bottom corner of each page spread worked well and was a real help with the addition. The illustrations sometimes made it difficult to clearly count all the characters, so having the notebook with very clear images made counting and adding a breeze.
As we went through each page my oldest daughter asked me to cover the addition answers so she could figure out the problem on her own. My five-year old son got into the addition fun too. Even my young two-year old loved counting the animals. She could easily count the heads on Sebastian’s notebook page. The numbers written on each head helped reinforce the counting. A combination of the image on the page, the illustration of animal heads on the notebook as well as the actual addition equation helped with understanding how addition works. I also liked that some addition vocabulary was used and explained in the book too (like sum, and dozen). My daughter loves math, but this book might help explain addition to a child who isn’t so keen on math.
In addition to the story, no pun intended, there is a handy addition table at the back of the book covering numbers from one to ten, plus some suggested reading and websites to further enhance your child’s interest in math. Adding with Sebastian Pig and Friends at the Circus is part of the series Math Fun with Sebastian Pig and Friends. You can get other Sebastian Pig books on subtracting, measuring, money, as well as counting and finding shapes.