My Half Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Sylvan Dell
Publication Date: July 2008
My Half Day is book all about imagination and math, or more specifically about fractions. One morning our lead character wakes up to find his head half shaved and half not. And this is just the start of a day filled with craziness and fun, and one that is consistantly filled with fractions. From breakfast to heading out for camp to playing soccer with aliens from Mars, Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed did a great job mixing in the concept of fractions in a real to life manner that will help readers grasp the idea and see how it applies to real life.
I myself have never been a pro at math. I do okay, but it was never my strongest subject. Likewise, one of the biggest things I remember finding aggravating was fractions. They seemed silly and pointless- until I started to understand how fractions really do apply to daily life. Is the cup half full? How much flour do I need to make cookies? How many people from the group will be playing and how many reading- 2/3? How much of my dollar did I spend? The concept was daunting.
This is why I'm excited to be able to recommend this book by Sylvan Dell. Because the authors really did do a wonderful job of incorporating the number game in to an easy to understand format. Combined with the winning illustrations by Karen Lee, My Half Day is a book that can be read purely for the entertainment value, for the applicable educational aspects, or both. I can see it being an excellent teaching tool, though I think a lot of the math aspects might be a bit too much for the younger readers to grasp quite yet. Both my 3 yr old and my 5 yr understand the concept of halves, but they aren't quite to the recognition and full understanding of any of the more advanced fractions yet. This book will serve as a great resource though for helping teach both of them more about 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, etc. I'm just not sure they'll catch on immediately.
I'd highly recommend this book for teachers to include in their class libraries and also to include on class reading lists. It's an ideal training tool that comes with a fun storyline that will keep the reader interested, even if the fractions go over his/her head initially. Plus, as appears to be the case with most, if not all, of Sylvan Dell's children's books, there is an educational "Creative Minds" section at the back. This section helps explain, more indepth, the concept of halves, quarters, thirds, and other fractions. There's a mix and match game section that shows each fraction written out (2/3, 1/3, 1/2, 1/4, and 3/4) and then a list of pictures with "x" amount of segments filled in or missing (think pie charts). Lastly there's a Pizza Party game page you can look to the next time you make pizza, and want to make a fun learning experience out of it. The grid on the page shows two pizzas with varying size pizza slices. Readers can compare both to see in which instance they'd have more or less to eat based on the pizza slice sizes and numbers. This would be a fun way to incorporate math and learning in to dinner time.
OUR RATING: 5 hearts