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Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money (Fun with Math & Money) Paperback – August 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Few picture books illustrate the "capitalist pig" concept as graphically as this mathematics-based volume does with its glorification of greed and gluttony. After gobbling up all the groceries, Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig and their two piglets are hungry again, but the Piggy bank is empty. Deciding to hunt for money, the four swine gesture excitedly; then they feverishly root through their home for loose change and bills. Readers are meant to keep a tally of the dimes and nickels the Pigs locate, but they may be misled by the monetary sums planted in the illustrations (on one spread, the text describes a find worth $2.67, but the figures $2.32, $4.22 and $2.81 appear in the art; these numbers, we learn at the end, are part of a suggested math problem). Finally, after finding a grand total of $34.67, the Pigs spend almost all of it at a Mexican restaurant--math whizzes can calculate the tab by reading a menu. Although Axelrod's debut undoubtedly encourages useful skills, it is singularly unappetizing, while McGinley-Nally's ( First Snow, Magic Snow ) pudgy, stylized pigs and Southwestern motif seem garish. Kids probably won't have the patience for this book, and parents won't have the stomach. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-In this bright and bouncy concept book, the Pigs turn their house upside down looking for spare change so that they can go out to dinner. Readers are invited to count along as the porkers dig out cash from the socks drawer, pennies from under the bed, quarters from the closet, and a five-dollar bill from the washing machine. Answers are hidden in the illustrations. The Pigs' reward is a trip to the Enchanted Enchilada. The whole menu is reproduced, complete with prices, so readers can figure out what the family can afford to eat and how much money they will have left over. A final page recaps all the amounts and shows the multiplication and addition necessary to find the answers. The vibrant illustrations are done in yellow, turquoise, pink, orange, and green. Those hues, along with the cacti in the yard and the Mexican restaurant, give the book a Southwestern flair. The Pigs are wildly dressed, from the daughter's fishnet stockings to the father's floppy black-and-white bow tie. After they have heard the story once, children will enjoy going back and studying the pictures. An entertaining tool for reinforcing math skills that should be especially useful in a whole-language curriculum.
Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Series: Fun with Math & Money
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689812191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689812194
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is very amusing, as well as instructive; I found its humor as important to the book as its potential educational value. Sure, you get all kinds of opportunities to count money, make change, convert nickels, pennies, dimes, and quarters--but there's much more!
Great big colorful pictures that can be enjoyed en toto or through the (sometimes hidden) details, abundant irony and sloth, and, yes, a wonderfully creative menu (with food descriptions and prices) from the "Enchanted Enchilada," the restaurant where the pigs pig out after a money hunt in their cluttered home. Your kids may even get a new, humorous, appreciation for the words "this room looks like a pigsty!"
This is all good-natured, non-preachy fun for younger elementary school kids. It's a fun way to practice simple math problems, as well as just a good story filled with color and imagination.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thumper on November 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
A very creative way to teach money concepts. I liked the way the book reviews the way to make change. I read this to a group of 3rd graders. I don't know that they found the book entertaining, but it did help them review money. I think 2nd graders would probably enjoy the story more, but may not understand all of the math concepts as well as the third graders.

I thought the part with the pigs trying to figure out what they could buy etc was a great way to show children how important it is to understand money. Coin especially can be difficult for children (a quarter is the same as two dimes and a nickel, etc).

I would definitely use this book as a review, or an extention to a lesson, not an introduction to money.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jay on May 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When a family of pigs has eaten all of their food, they decide to go out to eat, but first, they must find some money. All of the family members turn the house inside out in their pursuit of a few dollars with which to buy dinner. Different pigs find different combinations of coins and bills before going off to the restaurant. Looking at the menu, the pigs must make decisions about how much food they can afford to buy and how much they will have left over. Each time, the reader is not given the amounts, and the back of the book includes drawings of the money and the equations showing their total amounts.
This book has a lot of possibilities for student's to learn to use money. For example, with or without manipulatives, students can be asked to find the amounts that various family members find as they find them, and also keep a running total. When at the restaurant, students can also view the menu, and select what they and some friends would order and how much they would have left over. Finding other combinations of coins and bills with the same total could extend the activity.
Why 4 stars?:
I had to take a point off for having a very weak and uninteresting plot line. However, the math elements that can be tied into the illustrations and the concepts dealing with money are top-notch. This book is excellent for activities dealing with counting and the addition and subtraction of money.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pima Student on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book to a group of kindergarten students. Right now they are learning about money just coins they know penny,dime and nickel. Some of the students were able to point out the coins and do some of the adding with the pig family. But majority of them just enjoyed the pictures and the storyline. They were unable to follow the hidden math problem. But overall it is a fun story to read with the students.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa on April 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I and the kids I read this too enjoyed it. I thought it had a cute storyline with the pigs needing money to eat. This book provides a good introduction to give math an everyday meaning and relate it to a real-life scenario. The kids laughed as the pigs went frantic trying to find money and ordering food. The menu was very cute and this brings in background experience with kids ordering from menus, which can lower anxiety about learning a math lesson about money.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melisa on April 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a great math book for kids. It is a great tool for teaching children about money. It has lots of diffrent types of money problems. It would be a wonderful to read the book with a child or a classroom of students and then work out the problems in the story.
I read this book to a second grade class during the school's love of reading week. The students enjoyed the book and I could see them working the problem out in their heads. This book made the students think.
Though this book is a great teaching tool for money it does lack in a plot. There is no real climax or major issue to solve. The story line is basically the Pigs need to find money to eat and that is it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book will entertain for 4 through 9 years old. This pig family would like to go out to eat but they don't have any money. So they start looking for money. They look in the basement, bedrooms, and closet. The color pictures were excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allison on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Although this book incorporates currency into the story line, it is primarily a book with a math exercise. It does not really teach children about money in the grander sense. Children just learning the denominations of various coins and dollar bills may find something new in this story, but it wouldn't be my first choice to introduce the subject. There is also a restaurant menu with prices that could potentially be used as a teaching tool.

The plot is simple: A family of pigs discovers the refrigerator is bare when it is time for dinner, so they hunt all over the house for loose change and then go out to eat at a restaurant. At the end of the story, you are asked to figure out how much money they found (addition), how much they spent (multiplication and subtraction), and what is left. I'm not sure how the title "Pigs Will Be Pigs" really fits in with the story other than the fact that hunger motivates them to search for money.

I found the illustrations to be colorful, but busy, and not terribly engaging. The text is also unremarkable. It is easy enough to read aloud, but the font might deter beginning readers. My own son, age 7, didn't care for the book and didn't ask to hear it again (a real test at our house), so this one is going back to the library.
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