From Publishers Weekly
"If you could ask 10 friends to tea, tell me who your friends would be," begins Goldstone's (The Beastly Feast) rollicking, rhyming approach to addition and multiplication. In each of 10 spreads, the unseen narrator suggests different combinations that add up to 10, which Cahoon (Word Play ABC) interprets in vibrantly saturated spreads of an anthropomorphized menagerie. A rose-hued stage scene featuring a sextet of flamingos en pointe, partnered with four leaping frogs, for instance, illustrates the equation 6 + 4; while 8 + 2 translates into eight mouse tailors cavorting among spools and thread, joined by two plunger-toting elephant plumbers. Whenever the equations lengthen beyond two addends, the rhyming text takes on jovial patter-song silliness: "How about 1 prince, 1 painter, and 2 potters, 1 diner, 1 miner, 1 major, and 3 otters?" Finally, the book offers up the cumulative possibility of what would happen "if ALL your friends show up": it's the number 100, the magnitude of which is driven home by a page filled with thumbnail portraits of every one of the participants. Exuberantly stylish, this painless introduction to the power of 10 should prove to be many aspiring mathematicians' cup of tea. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
reS-Gr 2-Many concepts are crowded into this overly ambitious counting book. It begins with the question, "If you could ask 10/friends to tea,/tell me who your/friends would be." Goldstone first suggests 10 firefighters; then 9 grizzly bears and 1 forest ranger; or 8 trusty tailors and 2 proud plumbers; and the pattern emerges until 5 shepherds and 5 sheep are proposed. However, as the pages go on, readers are introduced to groups of 4, 3, and 3; 1, 2, 3, and 4 in increasingly fragmented units. The randomness is as awkward as the text: "The sailors and the divers/and the plumbers/and the otters come." The computer-generated illustrations feature flat cartoon figures in colors varying from primary to muted secondary tones. The overall effect is chaotic. The final question is, "What if ALL your friends show up? What will you do then?" The presentation of 100 being 10 groups of 10 (various) creatures is muddled by too many details. Although preschoolers may get swept up in the frenzy, they probably won't grasp the math.
Dorian Chong, School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, CA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.