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The King's Commissioners (A Marilyn Burns Brainy Day Book) Hardcover – July 5, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Guevara's (Chato's Kitchen, reviewed Feb. 2) zany, off-center paintings provide the chief point of interest in this Marilyn Burns Brainy Day book about a crew of numbskull number-crunchers. An addle-pated king has lost track of his various commissioners, what with separate functionaries in charge of Spilt Milk, Mismatched Socks, Wrong Turns, etc. So he and the Royal Advisors plan to convene the commissioners and count them. But the First Royal Advisor counts in groups of twos, the Second Royal Advisor counts by fives and the capable little Princess counts by tens, leaving the King more confused than ever. A long afterword to parents and teachers explains that the book aims "to stimulate children to think about the place value structure of our number system." While the text certainly functions as an animated introduction to mathematics and the illustrations almost burst with comic moments, the story itself is a limp one. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4?A confused king has appointed a commissioner to handle every problem in the kingdom from flat tires to chicken pox. Now he has no idea how many commissioners there are, and he orders his royal advisors to gather and count them as they walk through the door. The first advisor counts by twos, the second by fives, and the little princess by tens. Of course, they all arrive at the same answer. The king is utterly perplexed, but his daughter clears up the mystery and readers learn the value of multiplication. Guevara combines cartoon and primitive styles to create zany, exaggerated, brightly colored illustrations?the perfect complement to the silly story. The portrayal of the simpleminded king is especially amusing. The story is appropriate for whole-language units, home-schooling, or for anyone who wants to show the fun and useful role of math in everyday life. Ruby Dee's Two Ways to Count to Ten (Holt, 1990) and Kay Chorao's Number One Number Fun (Holiday, 1995) present math concepts for younger children in a story format.?Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
Tallies using groups of two or three or five might be used to practice skip counting, but skip counting is an exercise for very early grades, and the vocabulary in this book is advanced for that age. Grouping by ten introduces the place value number system we use, which is based on ten digits, 0 through 9, and the illustrations in this book can be used to visualize this system; this, though, is for mid-elementary grades and is best presented with the input of a skilled teacher. More, for this age child the storyline is predictable and meagre. I might reserve this book for the schoolroom bookshelf.
I know, I�m a grown woman. I earned a high school diploma, have had some college, am engaged in a career that requires mathematical computation on a daily basis (thank God for calculators and computers), and am a homeschooling mom (thank God again for textbooks with clear directions and for children who know how to read for and can comprehend what they read).
I have never, ever, been able to add two-digit numbers in my head, and have struggled with even the most basic addition of single digit numbers if the sum is higher than 10 (i.e. 8+6=?), without either using my fingers or having a pencil and paper at the ready. My struggles with math are at the most basic level, too! I can multiply and divide, have a basic understanding of algebra, and love geometry. Adding and subtracting make me feel like an imbecile, though. And it�s not for lack of trying, either! I�ve studied textbooks ranging from preschool to college level, hoping to find a way to overcome this challenge, without success. But now I�ve found the key!
This book is so fantastic; I can�t put it into words. But I�ll try: First, the artwork is cute without being too cutesy; perfect for boys or girls. Second, the story is well-written, with engaging dialog (i.e. character voice, mood swings, etc.). The mathematical concepts are subtly interwoven in a �real life� applicable manner, so they make perfect sense and are easily grasped by young (age 6) and old (age 36 and extremely mathematically-challenged) alike. I can�t put it any more plainly than, �I GET IT! After 36 years, I FINALLY GET IT! And now, my children �get it� too!�
My �Math Miracle� Book �. Even my mom thinks it�s a miracle that I finally �get� addition!
The King has so many commissioners he sets out to count them. Many distractions cause him to lose his concentration until his young daughter shows him a more effective way to count.
Young listeners may be prompted to count the multiples when tally marks are grouped in twos and fives. Further, the princess-to-be arranges the commissioners in rows to illustrate her point.
A great illustration of mathematical reasoning.