Nonfiction Monday: 1+1=5 by David LaRochelle
Teachers will tell you the truth. When faced with introducing a new concept, teachers know that their skills as educators are no match for a good book. Wanna teach proper apostrophe use? Alfie the Apostrophe will beat out teacher lecture every time. With a sense of humor that will entertain while enlightening, 1+1=5 and Other Unlikely Additions shows that there is more than one way to look at a seemingly simple problem. Lower elementary students, rejoice – this book just saved you from another teacher talk-a-thon.
1 + 1 = 3?
1 unicorn + 1 goat = 3 horns!
Such is the way 1+1=5 kicks off. The mood, as you can probably tell, is goofy. Kids will be pleased. As the subsequent pages demonstrate, 1+1 can equal just about anything, from 0 (the number of feet on 1 snake and 1 worm) to hundreds (the number of seeds in 1 watermelon and 1 pumpkin). Each problem has a delightfully unexpected solution. The book concludes with the “correct” answer to the question.
The bright digital illustrations, while not doing much to set this book apart from the crowd visually, capably illustrate each equation. Each addition problem is presented centered on the page, with an illustration that hints at the solution. When the page is flipped, the answer is given, alongside artwork to match. This layout encourages students to form their own solutions, which fits perfectly with the theme.
Be sure to add this to your collection and, if you work at a school, tell your teachers about it. They know books like 1+1=5 are worth having around.
Review copy from publisher.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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