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Jack the Builder (MathStart 1) Paperback – February 28, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

PreS. Like Murphy's Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! (2000), this entry in the MathStart series makes arithmetic a part of imaginative play. Jack stacks 2 blocks taken from a big pile. Turn the page, and a wild, colorful double-page spread shows what his simple stack becomes with the addition of a little imagination--a robot. A third block makes a hot-dog stand in an uproarious circus, and 2 more build "a ferryboat out on the sea." Eight blocks become a lookout tower, and, using 17, Jack creates a rocket ship, which soars across two pages. Then the stack falls down, leaving "nothing but a pile of blocks . . . so Jack can start again!" As always, Murphy begins and ends with simple hands-on activities for adults to help bring the math into kids' everyday life. Rex's bright illustrations will encourage even young preschoolers to point at shapes and colors as they count and add on. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.



Michael Rex learned to draw in Chatham, New Jersey, and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Who Digs? and Who Builds? are his first two books with HarperCollins. Mr. Rex lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: MathStart 1
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060557753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060557751
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 10.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Yarborough on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
My kids will say the sum before I can when I am reading the book. (By this I mean, that I will read that Jack adds 3 blocks to 2 and the kids will say 5!) We find all the books by Stuart J. Murphy to be as entertaining and educational as this one.

If you like these, you might also like Leaping Lizards (skip counting by 5's), and Spunky Monkeys on Parade (Skip counting 2's, 3's and 4's). My son also likes The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang, but my daughter does not like it as well as these.Spunky Monkeys on Parade (MathStart 2) Grapes Of Math (bkshelf) (Scholastic Bookshelf) Leaping Lizards (MathStart 1)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on March 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 3 (almost 4) year old loves this book about a boy who builds with his blocks, always adding new blocks to change his structure and using his imagination to redefine what he is building.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Audrey on September 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The basic concepts of addition are snuck into this colorful, light-hearted book that is perfect for the average 4-6 yr old.
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By M. C. on August 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book for beginning math. I like how the blocks turn into various things like a hot dog stand. Just wish Jack, could be Jackie, girls like to build too you know. There few books with a girl as the builder.
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My daughter is using these to teach a preschool class at a school and they have been wonderful and incredibly useful We bought a number of the books and each one is well done and interesting to the kids.
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