Monday, June 10, 2019

Introduce math concepts to toddlers with "Crash! Boom!" and "Now What?" from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway - US/CANADA]

Two unusual children's books that teach math concepts 

The idea of using manipulatives so that children can more readily gain a perception of geometric shapes has been around a long time. Not necessarily given the name of manipulative, but actively used none-the-less, the simple, and long used, ABC building square blocks taught colors, letters, cause and effect, and skills in building.

The books Crash! Boom! and Now What? carry this a bit further. Differentiation and similarities of  square and rectangle, long and short, number of sides, etc. is addressed.

CRASH! BOOM! A Math Tale by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton

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My thoughts:  Crash! Boom! is not your ordinary children’s counting book.  Youngsters will have fun with this story about a cute little elephant who has trouble stacking his blocks. Perfect for children learning to count, the pictures also teach early math skills like measurement and adding more.

The focus is on counting, comparison, and stability. As the little elephant plays with his building blocks, he counts to the discover that additional blocks create a tower as tall as he is and then when it falls it is shorter than he is. And as he progressing in his building knowledge, he sees that stability is achieved through the use of a variety of sized and shaped blocks.

About the book: Elephant has a bucket of blocks and wants to build something tall. Something as tall as Elephant. But will it stay up? CRASH! BOOM! Not this time. Build it again? One block. Two blocks? Four blocks? It’s still not as tall as Elephant. More blocks! Now will it stay up? Now will it be as tall as Elephant? Build, balance, count — question, estimate, measure — predict, crash, and build again! Young children will happily follow along as Elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new and finally celebrates the joy and pride of success.

Now What? A Math Tale by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton

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My thoughts:  Little ones will also enjoy watching a sleepy puppy build a bed in

Now What? Along with Puppy, they will learn geometric concepts associated with basic shapes. Rectangles, squares, and triangles, oh my!

As the puppy begins building with his blocks, he discovers that the various shapes can be combined to create the larger rectangle that becomes his bed. But he goes through the stages of increasing the size of the platform through the addition of shapes in combination. (He finds that two triangles can become one square, etc.)

The ending is cute as little puppy is quite tired and sleepy but he still has two pieces he needs to make use of and then he can rest. Fun!

Parents will love the educational value of these stories, and the delightful illustrations will make them popular with the younger crowd. These books would make a wonderful gift along with a set of different size blocks, so that kids can build along with the stories.

About the book: Puppy wants to build a bed out of blocks, one that is wide enough and long enough for a snooze. But there aren’t enough rectangles, squares, and triangles. NOW WHAT? Build, measure, count, compare! Follow along as Puppy tries again and again and again and finally figures out how blocks of different shapes and sizes can fit together to build a bed that’s just the right size for a nap.

GIVEAWAY ~ 5 Winners
Each wins a set of 2 books
Begins June 10
Ends July 8 at 12:01 a.m EDT
Open to USA & CANADA 
NO P.O. Boxes, please
Canadian winners must provide a phone #
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copies are provided and shipped by publisher directly to the winner/s.


  1. I learn about Robie's first book:ROBIE’S STORIES and that it was “published” in June 1946. A very interest story. Some of the topics she writes about are: love, joy, anger, fear, separation, loss, growing up, gender, and healthy sexuality.

  2. She fell in love with writing in kindergarten and writes at least 30 drafts for each book! She has nearly 30 published books and most of them send positive messages and are educational for their young readers.

  3. I learned that-
    the author is constantly coming up with ideas for her current book & future books, so takes lots of notes.
    it will sometimes take 2-3 years for one of her books to be completed.

  4. I have learnt that she was published over 30 books (amazing) and each book goes through many drafts and can take years to complete!

  5. I learned that the author loves to write about the powerful feelings children have. I learned that her books come from being a mother and grandmother.

  6. I learned that Robie is not good at drawing, and that is why she has illustrators. I also learned that when she starts writing a book, she rarely knows what the ending will be.

  7. I did learn that the author Robie H. Harris is the New York Times best-selling author of It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies and more books. She is also the author of the Let’s Talk About You and Me series. Robie H. Harris lives in New York City.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  8. I learned that Robie Harris writes both picture books and nonfiction. I see that she has written about math and the one in the contest is an award winner.

  9. I learned that after graduate school, the author became an elementary school teacher at the Bank Street School for Children in New York City and taught children how to write. I also learned that children, not animals, are the characters in her books.

  10. These look so cute! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday at!


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