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Double the Ducks (MathStart 1) Hardcover – December 24, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 1. Once again the author of the popular MathStart series explains a math concept in a simple, exuberant story with bright, clear pictures. A young cowboy cares for his five little ducks, and he scurries around to bring them three sacks of food and four bundles of hay with his two hands. When each duck brings a friend, the boy has double the ducks, so he needs to double the hay and double the food. For that, he needs double the hands to do the work--so, luckily, a friend joins him. The numbers are on the pages and so are all the things to count. In a double-page spread at the back of the book, Murphy suggests lots of activities and games for parents to use in the kitchen and at play to make preschoolers' first steps into addition and multiplication more fun. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Stuart J. Murphy is a visual learning specialist. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has a strong background in design and art direction. He also has extensive experience in the world of educational publishing. Drawing on all these talents, Stuart J. Murphy brings a unique perspective to the MathStart series. In MathStart books, pictures do more than tell stories; they teach math.

Stuart J. Murphy and his wife, Nancy, live in Boston.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Series: MathStart 1
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060289228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060289225
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,725,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stuart J. Murphy is a visual learning specialist. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has a strong background in design and art direction. He also has extensive experience in the world of educational publishing. Drawing on all these talents, Stuart J. Murphy brings a unique perspective to the MathStart series. In MathStart books, pictures do more than tell stories; they teach math. Stuart J. Murphy and his wife, Nancy, live in Evanston, Illinois.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sue Reviews on June 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am disappointed that I made this purchase because my main goal was to teach the math skill, not just to have a cute book for our bookshelf. There are some good and bad things about the book.

Pros: The illustrations are adorable and younger children will be drawn to the book. I would say it's geared to children under 7. I like the concept of the story where a boy is taking care of 5 ducks and then they each bring home a friend so he needs double the items to take care of them (food, hay for a bed, etc). I also think it is great that at the end of the book there are two full pages for the parents that give a bunch of activities you can do with your child to reinforce the idea of doubling. On another positive note my sons loved it. I'm not saying they LEARNED from it, but rather that as a stand alone story they found it entertaining.

Cons: The prose reads a little awkwardly. It's not a rhimey book which is fine but it also doesn't sound that smooth to read aloud to a child as many great kid's books do. From a math perspective (which is why I purchased it) I was actually very disappointed. I don't think the book does a good job of bringing the concept of doubling down to the child's level. As the latter half of the book is dedicated to the care of the ducks once there is a double amount, the author should remind young children how many of each thing was needed beforehand. Pages later a small child isn't going to remember how much there was in the first place for the five ducks so I doubt this is going to help them understand that the number is "doubled" which is the point of the book.

For example, on page 22 the book shows the boy feeding all 10 ducks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By boxwood100 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a pretty cute book. At first, the little farmer boy has five ducks for which to care and he describes a typical day that that many ducks require. He explains how much food they need, their bath, and how they go to bed. However, when they all go out for a walk one day, they each bring back a friend, doubling the little farmer's efforts. So, now he needs double the food, double the straw and double the hands and asks for a friend too.

This book does a great job of explaining what happens when you now have twice as many items as you did previously. However, it really isn't very entertaining and my little one doesn't really care to have it read much. It's not as interesting as some of the other Mathstart books, but I would still get it to explain the doubling concept.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on March 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My kids are "too big" for picture books -- but we keep these Stuart Murphy books around anyway. They set a great foundation for math concepts, and they are fun to read. Double the ducks is one of my favorites -- it is rhythmic and has adorable illustrations. Great for visual learning, auditory learning, and it really teaches the math concept of doubling. Excellent.

Your library has Murphy's books, I'm sure -- but it's worth it to buy the ones that your family enjoys, since they will continue to like them well beyond the "picture book" stage. Also (sneaky mom trick) you can have your BIG kids read this to littler siblings or cousins or playmates -- then the big kid becomes the teacher and really learns the concept.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mj on June 17, 2013
Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
I bought this item to teach the concept of doubles to first grade students mainly because I like the way that math concepts are introduced in Stuart J Murphy books. However, I was not at all impressed with this book. The text does not clearly indicate doubles, and the story is a bit senseless. I decided not to use it for teaching purposes at all. I have many Stuart J Murphy books and would recommend many of them for instruction or for introducing a new topic depending upon the grade level knowledge of the student or students, but I cannot recommend this one AT ALL.
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