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The Greedy Triangle (Brainy Day Books) Hardcover – July 5, 1994


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Frequently Bought Together

The Greedy Triangle (Brainy Day Books) + Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! (Marilyn Burns Brainy Day Books) + Math Curse
Price for all three: $38.84

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 580L (What's this?)
  • Series: Brainy Day Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (July 5, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590489917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590489911
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of The I Hate Mathematics Book celebrates geometric shapes in this informative but visually cluttered addition to the Marilyn Burns Brainy Day series. Her main character, a triangle with gleaming black eyes and a perky grin, leads a full life-it can take the shape of a slice of pie or rest in an elbow's angle "when people put their hands on hips." Yet the triangle aspires to greater complexity, so it asks a "shapeshifter" to turn it into a quadrilateral (the shape of a TV or a book's page), then into a pentagon (a house's facade) and so forth. Burns fails to show that the triangle is "greedy"; it's just adventurous. But her story successfully introduces basic polygons, and her afterword to adults suggests ways of teaching children some of the finer points about geometry (e.g., the concept of a plane or rhomboids). For his picture book debut, Silveria chooses tart shades of yellow, orange, lavender and green. His airbrushed colored-pencil compositions have suitably angular details; speckled paint and multicolored doodles soften the effect but create a sense of disorder. If the art as a whole is somewhat jumbled, readers still come away from this volume noticing and naming the shapes of the objects around them. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1?An offbeat introduction to geometry. When a triangle tires of having only three sides, he asks the shapeshifter to change him first into a quadrilateral, then a pentagon, a hexagon, and so forth until he realizes he is happiest as a triangle: he can hold up a roof, be a slice of a pie and, best of all, slip into place when people put their hands on their hips. "That way I always hear the latest news...which I can tell my friends." The text is clever and shows more than the usual places to find shapes?part of a computer screen, a section of a soccer ball, a floor tile. The acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations are colorful, abstract, and filled with smiling shapes done in shades of turquoise, pink, and yellow. A two-page spread of suggestions for adults to reinforce the math lessons featured is included at the end of the book.?Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

The pictures in this book were also very fun and colorful.
Melisa
This book is great for elementary age students because it indroduces geometry in a fun way.
Kelly Morgan
I am a fourth grade teacher and used this book as an anticipatory set for my Geometry unit.
C. Petraitis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Greedy Triangle is a most unusual book in that it will appeal to three age groups, 4-5 year olds, those learning polygons for the first time, and for adults who never felt that comfortable with geometry. The book opens up the reader's mind to seeing geometric shapes all around, while providing a simple basis to remember the differences among polygons (they each differ in having one angle and side more or less than the most similar polygon).
"Once there was a triangle that was -- as most triangles are -- always busy." The book points out some of the many frequent places where triangles can be found such as "holding up roofs, supporting bridges, making music, catching the wind for sailboats, being slices of pie . . . and more." "The triangle's favorite thing, however, was to slip into place when people put their hands on their hips." This last refers to the space between the arm and the body. The triangle likes this shape because "that way I always hear the latest news . . . which I can tell my friends." And his friends like that.
But the triangle finds this boring at some point, and seeks the help of a shapeshifter to become a quadrilateral. Ennui recurs and the former triangle moves through a transition successively into a pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon. For the first few shapes, the book outlines places you find these shapes in nature and human-made objects. A connection is also made as to whether those shapes provide juicy stories to tell friends. There is adult humor, such as noting about not being able to tell secrets learned at the Pentagon.
Eventually, this all becomes self-limiting. "Its sides were so smooth it had trouble keeping its balance.
Read more ›
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Dana H. Pasterjak on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I work in an inner city school. Believe me when I say that they are a tough group to please! They were absolutely enthralled with The Greedy Triangle! It opened up discussion in the class more than any other book I have read to them this school year. It is colorful, creative and fun. You can have the students use toothpicks and gummy bears to create the greedy little triangle and then change shapes as it metamorphisizes. Food is a great motivator. A fun way to instill a love of both reading and geometry. When the book is over, the kids can be "greedy" and eat their creations. Trust me, they will never forget the lesson.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've used this book in my sixth grade geometry exploratory class as an introduction to polygons. The students thouroughly enjoyed it, they were able to see how polygons are everywhere in their environment, and later created their own polygon book, using total degree measurement, angles, etc... I highly recommend "The Greedy Triangle" to any teacher who may be teaching about polygons in a geometry unit, it's also a great way of integrating reading into math curriculum.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Greedy triangle is an excellent book for introducing geometry to students in grades 3-5. I use it with my fourth graders and it is a brilliant way to introduce the correct terminology involved in geometry. The story line can also be related to the idea of "the grass isn't always greener on the other side". The triangle goes from shape to shape and then realizes it was much happier as a triangle . I would definitely recommend this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John W. Chinchen on September 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a high school math teacher, I place an emphasis on shape recognition and attributes with my 5 year old. For example, how many sides/angles does a triangle/square/circle(!) have. The Greedy Triangle fits in very nicely with her knowledge level, and she very much enjoyed it from beginning to end. I should note that I edit some of the content to be age appropriate, changing quadrilateral to square, and skipping some of the later, many-sided, polygons. In any case, she laughed her way through the book, which is a great thing for a 5 year old!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Russ on September 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading this to my classes for the past two years. They absolutely love it. I use it to introduce shapes. The book also teaches a lesson about character. This book is a must have!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book because even younger kids can understand it and it's great for teaching about polygons. I also think it's funny to see the triangle as a Federal Government building, home plate, and part of a bee hive.

I recommend it to anyone. Older kids might be a bit bored, but I'm 10, and I love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jay on May 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Two-dimensional shapes with human characteristics tell this story. A triangle who enjoys being a musical instrument, and catching the wind for sailboats shares his stories with his friends. Eventually, he began to feel dissatisfied and asked the shape-shifter to give him an extra side and an extra angle. After working for a while as a quadrilateral and sharing his new stories with his friends he once again becomes dissatisfied with his role and returns to the shape-shifter to have more sides added. The reader sees where the shape lives his life with his different amounts of sides and angles. With continued dissatisfaction, he adds sides and angles until he is nearly round and rolls down a hill. This is when he asks the shape-shifter to return to his former self.
Because the back of this book includes tips for teachers and parents to incorporate this book, it can be very useful as an educational tool. Taking a walk and searching for a particular shape in the world, or even spotting several makes students think about how they are seen. One pitfall that should be combated is children's tendency to recognize shapes only when they are in their most familiar form. That is, they should have some practice with flipped, turned and rotated shapes. Asking students to view a shape and then incorporate it into a drawing of a real-world illustration will help them as well.
Why 4 stars?:
Marilyn Burns has changed the way that many teachers approach the subject of math in the elementary school. This book is a wonderful accompaniment to her teaching philosophy and methods. The tips and strategies included at the end for teachers, parents and anyone else who may want to use this book just help to reinforce her teaching. I did have to take a point off for reusing the concept and becoming a little sparse with examples of shapes - the illustrations were also somewhat lacking. But in the end, this is a wonderful addition to the library of anyone who teaches about shapes.
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