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Math Matters Series Review by Courtney Larson

Kane Press
350 Fifth Avenue Suite 7206
New York, NY 10118

The Math Matters series from Kane Press has 36 books available, and each title focuses on one math concept that is woven into an engaging storyline. Each book is 32 pages long, with appealing full-color illustrations throughout. They are designed for elementary age students up through around age 8. I received three titles to review: Deena's Lucky Penny by Barbara deRubertis, Carrie Measures Up by Linda W. Aber, and Sam's Sneaker Squares by Nat Gabriel.

Deena's Lucky Penny focuses on money. Deena wants to buy her mother a birthday present but has no money until she finds a penny in the grass. Throughout the book, she is able to trade her penny with family and friends until she ends up with a dollar (just enough to buy her mother a present from the dollar store).

In Carrie Measures Up , Carrie helps her grandmother with her knitting projects by secretly measuring the recipients of the gifts. She measures her Dad's foot, her Mom's laptop, and her baby brother's hands. Then her grandmother teaches her to knit, and she carefully and secretly measures her grandmother for a surprise scarf (that ends up being a bit too long).

Sam's Sneaker Squares focuses on area. Sam runs a lawn mowing business and thinks he is being underpaid by Mr. Hill. Sam thinks it takes longer to mow Mr. Hill's lawn because it's bigger than another neighbor's yard, but Mr. Hill thinks it's because Sam is tired from not drinking enough milk. When Sam explains this to his older brother, his brother teaches him how to use area to compare the size of the lawns. Sam is then able to use area to prove he should be paid more for the larger lawn.

The last page of each book has a few problems that the reader can work in order to apply what they've learned through reading the story. There are also additional activities provided in each book, such as using a tape measure to measure their arm or using coins to play store. I think these books are great, and my 8- and 6-year-old sons enjoyed reading these three titles. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these books as a fun way to introduce various math concepts to young children in a way that makes the math applicable to real life.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC , August 2010