Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Review: Counting in Dog Years by Betsy Franco

 I'm just going to keep on celebrating National Poetry Month with today's read. This time, we're heading into the math arena. Yep, you understood that correctly—every poem plays with math and numbers. I was intrigued, since this one promises tons of silliness mixed right in with the number facts. The illustrations definitely hint a quirks and giggles, too. This one was already available through various publishers, and now, is being re-released through Candlewick Press late October this year. (So, this one is so up-and-coming that it isn't even on the publisher's page yet!)

Can math be silly fun?

Sassy Math Poems
by Betsy Franco
Illustrated by Priscilla Tey
Candlewick Press
Middle Grade Poetry
40 pages
ages 8 to 12

OCTOBER 11th!!!

Award-winning author Betsy Franco is back with another pitch-perfect performance that explores a range of math topics—from fractions and time measurements to geometry and graphs—in a way that relates math to the daily lives of children. Even the most mathematically disinclined will warm to these innovative poems, illustrated with game-changing wit and whimsy by Priscilla Tey, whose clever mechanical “Numbots” guide readers through a surreal playground of calculated delights. From multiplying mice to missing socks, from stinky scales to bug races, this collection of imaginative verse subtracts the mystery, fear, and loathing from mathematics, making it engrossing and fun for all.

(Whoa! This one hasn't been released yet! So, hold onto the thoughts and keep your eyes open during the next months!)


Numbers and math get an intriguing and insightful twist while weaving words in a fun play of poetry.

This is one of those books, which intertwines words and illustrations to create a delightful mix. Each poem centers around numbers or math, which might sound boring, but it's anything but. There's a hint of sarcasm in some of the poems, pure fun in others, and simply a love for numbers in the rest. Everything from the idea of the a 'Stinky Scare' to the time spent in school vs. days off to the mystery of missing socks in a washing machine is explored...and that with tons of twists of fun.

The rhymes flow well and dance between words and meanings with humor and ease. The illustrations...my favorite aspect of this read...add all the pokes, jabs, or even visual understanding to make the each poem simply intriguing. Even math terms are dropped in and defined without any sense of teaching or learning.

While this isn't something that most readers will be able to snuggle up with and go through in one sitting, it's a read to pick up here and there, time and again, to discover a little fun and learn something about math along the way. Even classrooms and homeschoolers would enjoy this one.

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