From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2--Four friends arrive at school on opening day wearing the jazziest of outfits, having heard that their new teacher intends to celebrate "100 days of cool." Although Mrs. Lopez really meant to mark "100 days of school," she challenges the students to continue for an additional 99 days, and the foursome collaborates to generate ideas for lots of silly costumes, playful pranks, and a more serious yet equally "cool" community service project. Despite their classmate Toby's doubts, the friends come up with a daily surprise and a means of marking the way to 100 and the promised party. This simple story focuses on the single concept of counting to 100. A number line divided by tens appears at the top of most pages, and the cheerful illustrations reflect students of all backgrounds and physical abilities. Arbitrary numbers such as 8, 17, and 41 are given equal fanfare with typical number intervals like 5, 10, and 25. While the book offers reliable reinforcement for one-by-one counters, it won't dazzle children who are ready to investigate numbers in groups. Trudy Harris's 100 Days of School
(Millbrook, 1999) and Elinor Pinczes's perpetually cool One Hundred Hungry Ants
(Houghton, 1993) are more imaginative choices. An additional purchase.--Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
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K-Gr. 3. Murphy once again uses a lively classroom scenario to dramatize important math concepts. Here a group of kids come to school dressed "cool" in sequins and sunglasses for "the first day of cool," and their cool teacher challenges them to keep it up for 99 more days. The next day the kids wear cool socks. On Day 5 they decorate their bikes. On Day 25 they dye their hair. A number line from 1 to 100 across the top of each double-page spread shows the passing time, and one carping kid always comments on how far the class still has to go ("They're only 1/10th of the way there"). The colored-pencil pictures show the kids in all their costumes and at play and work. The play and socializing dramatize the math, and, as always in the books in the fine MathStart series, there are suggestions to help adults talk about the concepts and relate them to a child's daily life. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved