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The Lion's Share Paperback – July 3, 2012


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Words do matter as Stick and Stone demonstrate in warm, rhyming text even the youngest reader will understand. See more featured books. Read more about the author Beth Ferry and the illustrator Tom Lichtenheld.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802723608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802723604
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3—The king of the jungle has a small party every year for his closest friends, even though they are greedy and ill-mannered. The lion graciously passes cake to the elephant, telling him to help himself. The elephant takes half. Each animal in turn takes half of what is passed, leaving only a crumb for the ant to share with the king. Instead, the ant says that he will bake the king a fresh cake in the morning. Each animal then ups the ante by doubling the previous offer, culminating with the elephant committing himself to baking 256. This mouthwatering tale of division and multiplication will delight young readers as they imagine a palace full of cakes. The captivating ink and watercolor illustrations, enhanced with digital techniques, continually reinforce the mathematical theme with humor and detail. Many layouts effectively present a graphic display of the simple fraction concepts. The results are terrific. Because young readers will relish the absurdity of the story, it will hold up to repeated readings to reinforce math instruction.—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Set on the savannah, this original animal fable weaves math exercises into a story about sharing. At an elegant dinner hosted by the lion king, a tiny ant is appalled at the poor manners of her fellow animal guests, who arrive late, throw food, and talk only about themselves. Dessert is even worse. The elephant takes half the cake for himself, and each guest, following his greedy lead, takes half of the remaining portions until only a tiny crumb is left for the ant and the lion. Mortified, the ant offers to bake a new cake for the lion. Then the beetle offers to bake two cakes, and a round of one-upmanship (and math practice) ensues: each animal offers double the number of cakes proposed by the previous guest. McElligott’s digitally touched ink-and-watercolor artwork combines expressive animal characters with clear groupings of objects that illustrate the embedded arithmetic exercises. While the story will find an obvious place in early elementary math or character education units, the lively illustrations amplify the story’s slapstick humor and will easily entertain story hour crowds. Grades 1-3. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
This is a great book for introducing fractions.
Tracy Anderson
Matthew McElligott does a fantastic job with keeping children's attention with the story line and illustrations.
Taryn
Your children will want to read this book over and over again as they will learn something new every time.
V. Nicewonger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Travis Ann Sherman VINE VOICE on August 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a children's librarian, I picked this book, almost at random, to check out for my four-year-old grandson. After three months, I had to buy him his own copy, and even then he wanted to keep my library copy for downstairs and his new one for upstairs. This outstanding book offers everything. Yes, it book teaches fractions and exponents (did I mention the illustrations are Caldecott quality and the sophisticated humor wry?) It even teaches good manners, but it does all this while telling a story so convincingly that a four-year-old lays aside his set of Transformers to beg for more. The Lion's Share is shortlisted on my Best Books of the Year.
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Format: Hardcover
The ant had an invite to dine with the king and was determined to be right on time, but the rest of the guests kind of ambled along and got there when they felt like it and were all late. When they started to eat the whole table looked like a food fight because the beetle the frog, the macaw, the warthog, the tortoise, the gorilla, the hippo and the elephant were making a big mess. Eat with your mouth closed, please! The only one who looked regal and dignified was the lion. For dessert the lion brought out a cake. Elephant, whose name should have been "pig" said "I could eat this in one bite, but that might seem greedy" and so he split it in half.

Hippo took the remains of the cake, cut it down the middle "and handed the remaining one quarter of the cake to the gorilla." Everyone around the table did the same thing. They didn't want to look too piggish so only took half of what they received and handed the remains on to the next guest. When it came time for ant to get her piece it was so small that it was just a couple of crumbs and she really couldn't divide it. What a hog, the other guests declared with disgust because the king hadn't gotten a slice. When she offered to bake a cake, the offer was doubled, doubled and doubled many times by the others. Two, four, eight, sixteen . . . two hundred and fifty-six "peanut-butter pound cakes." Can you guess who got stuck making all those cakes?

This was a fun little fable that not only gives a little lesson on manners, but also painlessly introduces basic elementary math concept of fractions. The marvelous illustrations provide a nice visual imagery so the child can easily "see" the cake being divided. The end pages show the division of the cake from the whole to 1/128th. If you want to see what two hundred and fifty-sex peanut-butter pound cakes look like, you'll just have to buy this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. Nicewonger on March 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The author has come up with a fun way to understand math, particularly fractions. This is underlined by bold illustrations of believable animals. Your children will want to read this book over and over again as they will learn something new every time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Matthew McElligott's THE LION'S SHARE: A TALE OF HAVLING CAKE AND EATING IT, TOO tells of a small ant invited to a lion's dinner party. She's on her best behavior, but the other partygoers don't share her manners and are greedy, leaving her nothing but a crumb to share with her host. Can her offer to bake another cake turn the tables on greed? An unexpected result makes for a fine story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Kramp on January 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is great on many levels:
1. It appeals to me, a computer programmer, in that it teaches kids powers of 2, which are important to know for computer programming.
2. It has a good moral about sharing.
3. The drawings are unique, and it keeps things moving well. It's not too long.

I was surprised my 2-year old isn't that interested in it, but my 5 year-old loved it. We only read it once so far.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for introducing fractions. I was doing a two-day substitute job and brought this book to introduce fractions to the students. The kids loved it! The students were confused because they though 1/8th would be a "big" piece, but when they saw the visuals the book provides they saw that it's actually a smaller piece. This is a great book to use in the classroom or for parents to read to their kids at home. The illustrations are also visually stunning!
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Format: Paperback
As a dad of girls (and former elementary school teacher), I'm always looking out for books that teach math in a fun, non-didactic way. This is the best one of I have found. First of all, it's a great story with wonderful art and hilarious animal characters. Second, it gets kids to understand fractions and exponents without even realizing it. My five year-old gets the math, while my three year-old can recite the story front to back. I wish he'd write some more like this!
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More About the Author

Matthew McElligott is the author and illustrator of many books for children including Even Aliens Need Snacks, Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, The Lion's Share, Bean Thirteen, and several books about Backbeard the pirate. Like Backbeard, he is big, smelly, messy, and not too bright.

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