Reviews for Shark Swimathon


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 February 2001
Gr. 2-4. Like other books in the MathStart series, this presents a mathematical concept in the framework of a story. Here, a shark swim team practices subtraction of two-digit numbers as it tries to reach a goal of 75 laps. The focus is on the subtraction, which gets progressively more difficult as the predictable story goes on. Swordfish Coach Blue explains the process in each example. Perceptive children will note that the swimmers' performance improves with practice and that one shark uses division to determine the number of laps each teammate must still swim. Lynne Cravath's illustrations, in swimming-pool hues, feature amusing details and an interesting assortment of sharks, from twin hammerheads to Tiny, the hair-bowed whale shark. An appendix suggests activities to extend the lesson and includes a list of other books with a subtraction theme. Sharks, sports, and subtraction--a winning combination. ((Reviewed February 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Fall
The Ocean City swim team--six sharks clad in brightly colored bathing suits--struggle to complete enough laps to earn money for swim camp. The question, ""Why do sharks have trouble swimming?"" may cross some readers' minds. However, the math story does neatly weave in real-life applications of tallying totals and subtracting two-digit numbers. Related activities and examples of different subtraction strategies are included. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2000 November #2
paper: 0-06-446735-XPLB: 0-06-028031-XTwo-digit subtraction is the subject of this MathStart picture book, which beats its one-note song slowly and relentlessly. Murphy builds this story, the latest in his series of math fundamentals, around a group of young shark swimmers who have a chance to attend swim camp if they can complete 75 laps among themselves over a week's time. The coach has set up an easel by the pool, tallying their laps and then subtracting them from the running total on the easel. And that, quite simply, is how far Murphy takes the narrative, if such flimsy material can be called a story. There is nothing here to entice any child who is anxious, uninterested, or confused about math to get involved with either the subtraction or the story angle of the book. Murphy might just as well have presented a handful of subtraction problems on each page and forgotten all about the vapid story line, because the only kids who will find interest in these pages are those who really love mathematics, and there isn't enough here for them to chew on to any satisfaction. (Picture book. 7-8) Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 March
Gr 1-3-The Ocean City Sharks swim team needs money to attend swim camp. Fortunately, a local bank has promised to send them if the sharks can swim a total of 75 laps by the end of the week. Each day, Coach Blue subtracts the number of laps completed from the total, providing examples of two-digit subtraction. Bright cartoons show a group of enthusiastic sharks carrying book bags and wearing colorful bathing suits. The coach writes the math problems out on a big sign and discusses each new subtraction, allowing readers to follow along and cheer the team on. Regrouping is included, but the concept of changing tens into ones is not fully explained. Still, this entertaining story would work well as a supplement to lessons on two-digit subtraction.-Melinda Piehler, North Tonawanda Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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