From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-"Math Man" is the nickname of the stock boy at the Mighty Mart who leads Marnie's class on a math-in-action tour of the supermarket. When the cash-register scanners go on the blink, he adds up purchases in his head. (Also present on almost every spread is a family of mice with terrific math skills.) The book is cluttered with a lot of information and asides, and is illustrated with exaggerated cartoons. There are lots of opportunities to use this book to teach math, shopping, and even map skills, but in the process readers must wade through a mediocre story line, slapstick humor that tries too hard to prove that shopping is FUN, and garish art. Tally up the pluses and the minuses according to your own needs.
Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 6-8. When Mrs. Gourd takes her class on a field trip to the supermarket "to see math in action," the children troop into the store two by two, all except Marnie, who "didn't give a bat's brain about math in action." Though she's only there to buy a Halloween pumpkin, Marnie finds herself swept along by the amazing antics of stock-boy Garth, a math whiz who leads the class on a zany tour, solves customers' problems, and calculates the shoppers' orders in his head when the checkout scanners break down. Like many other math picture books, this introduces curricular concepts, but unlike most others, it shoots them off in rapid-fire succession as it gallops along at breakneck speed. Bush's dynamic, line-and-watercolor illustrations add humorous touches while reflecting the good-humored verve of the text. Although the story is ephemeral and the educational value minimal, kids may enjoy this energetic send-up of more plodding entries in the math-education category. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved