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Each Orange Had 8 Slices
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Despite its humdrum title, this author-illustrator team's ( How Many Snails? ) latest effort is an unusually stimulating counting book that holds appeal for a wide spectrum of ages. Each spread discloses three facts, followed by three questions, such as: ``On my way to the playground I saw 3 red flowers. Each red flower had 6 pretty petals. Each petal had 2 tiny black bugs.'' Readers are then asked to total how many flowers, how many petals and how many black bugs there are. The very young can count aloud as they point to each object, whereas older children can use multiplication to complete the calculations, which vary in difficulty. Displaying an exceptionally brilliant palette of colors, Crews's typically bold, uncluttered pictures make counting easy for the smallest fingers. Unlike most books of the genre, this will not be quickly outgrown. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)

K-Gr 3-- The vibrant style of Crews's gouache artwork is well matched to this exceptional introduction to mathematics. A situation is presented in simple sentences. ``On my way to Grandma's I saw 2 fat cows. Each cow had 2 calves. Each calf had 4 skinny legs,'' and the questions follow:``How many fat cows. . . calves . . . legs were there in all?'' The bright, cheerful illustrations boldly amplify the scenes, making interaction easy and fun. Tana Hoban's Count and See (Macmillan, 1972) and 26 Letters and 99 Cents (Greenwillow, 1987), and Mitsumasa Anno's Anno's Counting Book (Crowell, 1977) are other fine counting books. This one, however, takes the concepts a step further to challenge older children's thinking skills without being patronizing or sacrificing integrity for the youngest audiences. Teachers will find it useful for beginning multipliers. The book concludes with the age-old riddle contained in the poem, ``As I was going to St. Ives.'' Its answer is a lighthearted way to finish such an engaging, attractive addition to the concept picture-book genre. --Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, OH

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