Reviews for Help Me Learn Addition

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #1
Intended to support the Common Core State Standards for math skills learned in kindergarten, this colorful book helps children progress from counting to simple addition. The short, rhyming text provides direction, while photos of small objects offer opportunities for children to count or to add. One double-page spread features knitted finger puppets of animals, while others show a variety of appealing items that show up clearly against the backgrounds. The text challenges children to determine the number of objects by counting (by ones, twos, or fives) and/or by addition. Each calculation is also written numerically (e.g., 7 + 3 = 10). A final spread previews subtraction through two brief, illustrated stories. Besides advising adults on using the book with children, Marzollo's appended note suggests how parents can help toddlers and preschoolers grasp the concept of addition naturally as they learn to count. Playful and useful in equal parts. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Opting for breadth over depth, Marzollo introduces--in what feels like a hurry--everything from skip-counting and grouping to tally marks and the commutative property of addition. Still, kids will enjoy completing the text's rhymes: "Our chicks paired off, / which helps us when / we skip count / 2, 4, 6, 8, ____ (10)." Photographs show toys (puppets, marbles, animal figurines) in eye-catching arrangements.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 February #2
Marzollo's second Help Me Learn title builds on the first (Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20, 2011) but unfortunately does not fix its rhythm and rhyme flaws. Relating to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for pre-K through first grade, this latest focuses on addition: counting on, skip counting, number sentences, ways to equal 10, tally marks and a few subtraction problems. But clunky verses with words chosen for rhyme rather than meaning (or even rhythm) plague these pages, and affect not just readers' understanding, but readability as well. "What is the answer / when we add zero? / It's what we had. / Is that clear-o?" However, the book's largest problem is a disconnect between content and audience. The rhyming is appropriate for the younger end of the spectrum but may turn off the older kids, and the tally marks and 3- and 4-digit addition sentences are going to be beyond the younger kids, especially since the math is not really explained. Many of the tiny objects from the first book make a reappearance here in Phillips' photos, but there are some interesting new additions, most notably colorful marbles and some bright and cheerful aliens. This is not a book that kids could (or would) pick up on their own without guidance, and teachers are likely still to prefer to use old favorites that do it well. (Math picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #5

In this companion to Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20, Marzollo and Phillips teach basic addition skills by making use of rhymed verse and bright photographs of toys and other recognizable objects. In one spread, a word problem prompts readers to add up the riders on a toy train ("Here comes the math train/ straight from Penn!/ 7 plus 3/ equals 10"), while other scenes feature monster finger puppets and ceramic dogs. Concepts like "skip counting" and using tally marks are also introduced, although the rhymes can get overwrought in the process: "Spaceship babies/ want to know more./ Can we tell them what tally marks are for?/ Tally marks help/ us count today./ Here's a math sentence/ the tally mark way." Still, this is an inviting visual introduction to addition. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

PreS-Gr 2--Using the clean photographic style and bouncing rhymes of Marzollo's "I Spy" series (Scholastic), this energetic picture book features basic math concepts such as counting, addition, counting by twos and fives, using tally marks, subtraction, and division. Child-friendly objects such as marbles, finger puppets, and animal figurines demonstrate each concept. The book is well suited for reading aloud, with mathematical challenges worked into the verses, allowing rhymes to give clues to the answers. Phillips's brightly colored photos make effective use of negative space to highlight specific mathematical elements; the book as a whole demonstrates similar thoughtfulness in the way concepts progress in difficulty, building from previous examples so as not to overwhelm.--Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

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