Benny has five shiny new pennies. What will he buy today? Follow Benny on his journey through town as he buys items for his mother, brother, sister, dog and cat. This counting book is delightfully illustrated with images cut from textured, colored specialty paper for a collage effect. By Pat Brisson; illus. by Bob Barner. 32 pgs, pb. ~ Lisa
Benny McBride starts his day with five new pennies and is determined to spend them all. His mother wants him to buy something beautiful. His brother wants something good to eat. His sister wants something nice to wear. Benny knows his dog and cat would like something too. With the help of generous and thoughtful neighbors, Benny fulfills each request with a penny and arrives home loaded with five gifts.
Oh how I wish these books had been available when my children were younger! Every summer we would join our local library reading program, and although most of the time allowed my children to select their own reading materials, I often would slip in an educational book just to keep their minds focused. Frequently, these books would be math-oriented since I really wanted to keep their math skills sharp. Using children's books to teach math skills has always been fun for my family, and these books would have served to bring more fun to our math practice.
The vision of the author of this series was simply to allow books to lead the way from Storyland to Mathland, allowing our children to learn at a young age that math can and should be fun! With this vision, she created each Funbook to correspond to sixteen children's books. These books are easily found in libraries, however, they may also be purchased inexpensively (see resource list for each book below).
Each Funbook contains black and white activity pages, brightly colored cardstock manipulatives, and an extended reading list. Funbook A contains teacher's notes for each of the children's book read, activity page answers, and stickers to complete some of the activities. A few activities will also require other items that are easily found around your home such as coins and dice. Teacher Guides are available separately for Funbook 1 and 2. The Teacher Guides provide ideas to use the Let's Read Math Funbooks in a variety of settings, a summary of each book to be read, instructions for each student page, reduced student pages with answers, and a suggested book list using the same math themes as found in the primary sixteen books. Although it is possible to use these Funbooks without the Teacher Guides, the additional support materials found in them are worth the investment to organize and instruct you on using the Funbooks most effectively.
So, what math topics are covered? Each book covers a large variety of math themes and incorporates practical math (money, seasons, time), geometry, classifying, and algebraic formulas. According to the author, Funbook 1 and Funbook 2 are non-sequential and can be completed in either order. This series is loosely linked to state standards but would not independently meet state standards. Please note: Funbook A copyright grants permission for copies to be made for students in a classroom or out of a school setting. The rest of the series is not reproducible. Pb. ~ Deanne