I’m always looking for good, fun and educational books for my son. Recently I have had the chance to review a few books written by Stuart J. Murphy. His MathStart series has 63 books and has sold over 4 million book. I can see why!
“Math is about far more than numbers. Math is about being able to make comparisons (estimation, percentage, measurement), understand spatial relationships (directions, opposites, symmetry, geometric shapes, mapping) and calculate time (sequencing, time lines, calendars).
Many of the MathStart stories involve Science and Social Studies subjects. Earth Day — Hooray! (Place Value), for example, teaches about the Environment, while Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (Classifying) is filled with information on Geology. The Grizzly Gazette (Percentages) is a lesson on democracy. Seaweed Soup (Matching Sets) is a tale about sharing and kindness. And Lemonade for Sale (Graphing) and Sluggers’ Car Wash (Making Change) are both stories on entrepreneurship and economics.
Math skills are Life skills. We use them every day in every way.”
I had the chance to review the follow MathStart books. I was so lucky because both of them presented Math concepts to my son that we were working on, making them more fun to learn.
Leaping Lizards (MathStart 1)–
To put on “The Fifty Leaping Lizards Show!,” you need fifty star-struck leaping lizards. Where will they all come from? The first five are found lounging in bunk beds, but the next five arrive in theatrical style, riding unicycles and juggling. The next five are speed-demons in race-cars, followed by five more in a hot-air balloon. Colorful graphics keeps track of the count, first by showing how counting by 5s works, and then showing how counting by 10s is related: Kids can easily see how each group of 10 lizards divides into two groups of 5. Will there be enough lizards by show time? Counting by 5s and 10s is an important skill that helps children master multiplication facts, tell time, and count money.
My son and I were able to practice his skip counting by fives. He loved it. They also work on counting by tens, and even though his has this skill mastered he did not mind the review at all,
Give Me Half! (MathStart 2)
I’m really excited to get a few more of these books for my son.
When a little boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it’s not pretty. Of course, she isn’t too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores. Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.
This book got my son’s attention. I found recently that he loves to read about children being naughty. I mean what kid doesn’t. This book was a great early introduction to fractions.
Another thing worth mentioning is that at the end of each book there are a few activities that an adult and child can do together to help reinforce what was taught in the book.
Stuart J. Murphy also has a new series “I See I Learn”.
I had the chance to read “Percy Plays It Safe” with my son.
Percy Plays It Safe (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn) (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn Series)
Once again this book was a hit for my son because the main character was acting very naughty. However Stuart J. Murphy was able to show his readers through natural conquences why it is important to play it safe and follow the rules at the park. At the end of this book there is a page called “A Closer Look”. Here you can ask your child these questions and have a conversation that will help your child understand how this could relate the their own life.