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Polar Bear Math


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About the Author

Ann Whitehead Nagda is the author of Tiger Math, Chimp Math, Polar Bear Math, and Panda Math, as well as several other books about wildlife. Her love of wild animals grew during her visits to national parks and wildlife reserves in Asia and Africa, and today she is a docent at the Denver Zoo. Her newest book, Cheetah Math: Learning About Division from Baby Cheetahs, was released in Fall 2007 by Henry Holt. Ms. Nagda lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband.

Cindy Bickel has worked at the Denver Zoo for more than thirty years. During her career, she has hand-raised hundreds of babies for the zoo, using math every day in her job as a veterinary assistant. Ms. Bickel helped write Chimp Math, Tiger Math, and Klondike and Snow: The Denver Zoo's Remarkable Story of Raising Two Polar Bear Cubs.


Gr 1-5-Following the lives of two cubs that were born at the Denver Zoo and abandoned by their mother, this book provides information about polar bears and fractions. Right-hand pages tell the story of Snow and Klondike, with excellent, full-color photos showing how zoo personnel raised them from newborns until their first birthday. On each left-hand page, a lesson on fractions incorporates data about the animals. The explanations, which combine text with pictographs, are clear and well formulated. The first lesson, for example, defines fractions and their parts, and compares the one-third of polar bear mothers that have twins with the two-thirds that have single births. Other lessons deal with preparing formula for the cubs, milk consumption, hours in a day, and polar bear weight. Although this title would be helpful as reinforcement for youngsters who have had some prior exposure to these concepts, those unfamiliar with fractions are unlikely to grasp the ideas without some adult guidance. However, readers can appreciate Snow and Klondike's interesting history without reading the other sections. This thoroughly enjoyable offering has many worthwhile features, and teachers and children alike can make good use of it. Lesley A. DuTemple's Polar Bears (Lerner, 1997) provides more details about these animals, while David A. Adler's Fraction Fun (Holiday, 1996) teaches the basic principles in a slightly less technical way than Nagda and Bickel's volume.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"This thoroughly enjoyable offering has many worthwhile features, and teachers and children alike can make good use of it." --School Library Journal

"Though teachers may find ways to relate the math concepts to the curriculum, it's the narrative and appealing color photos that will hold children." --Booklist

"[A] charming account of two abandoned polar bear cubs." --Kirkus Reviews

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