Reviews for Minnie's Diner : A Multiplying Menu


Booklist Reviews 2004 August #1
K-Gr. 2. Farmer McFay yells to his five sons to get their work done, but lured by the delicious smell from the diner, Will, the youngest, stops milking the cow, races to the diner, and orders one of everything. Then Bill, twice as big as Will and twice as hungry, leaves the pig on the farm and orders double what Will has. The doubling continues with each bigger brother, until the oldest has 16 of everything. Furious Papa yells at the boys to get back to work--but that delicious smell convinces him to double his oldest son's order and join the feast. The clear, cartoon-style gouache illustrations have fun with the scenes of the farmyard and the diner, especially Minnie's increasingly heavy, teetering tray. By the time Papa brings the numbers up to 32, kids will be counting the dishes and enjoying the math, the slapstick, and the words. Not only do fries rhyme with pies, but double rhymes with trouble. ((Reviewed August 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
The concept of doubling goes down easy in this combination of multiplication facts, rhyme, humor--and diner food. One by one, the McFay brothers abandon their farm chores and head for the diner; each orders what the previous brother did, but "make it a double." The appropriately exaggerated illustrations double the fun as they play with numbers and size. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2005 #1
The concept of doubling goes down easy in this combination of multiplication facts, rhyme, humor -- and diner food. One by one, the overworked McFay brothers abandon their chores on the family farm and head for Minnie's Diner; each orders what the previous brother did -- "1 soup / 1 salad / 1 sandwich / some fries, and / 1 of her special hot cherry pies" -- but "make it a double." Eventually, with all five brothers lined up at the counter (and with the final brother, Dill, being served sixteen of everything, stretching the capacity of Minnie's tray and arm muscles), Papa McFay tracks down his errant workers and orders them back to the farm -- but not before he himself succumbs to the charms of Minnie's good cooking. The text succeeds on all counts, with a clearly laid out concept, a jaunty rhyme scheme, and a chantable refrain ("He raced to the diner. / He burst through the door, / twice as big / as his brother before"). The appropriately exaggerated illustrations double the fun as they play with numbers and size; readers will get a kick out of discovering that, despite the long shadow he casts, the despotic Papa McFay is a pip-squeak. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2004 July #2
Hopping onto the math-concepts bandwagon, Dodds ties the idea of "doubling" to a slender storyline. Dispatched by Papa McFay to do the chores, five farm lads are diverted by the smells wafting from a nearby diner. One by one, the brothers, and finally Papa McFay himself, sit at the counter and place their orders for soups, salads, sandwiches, fries, and, for dessert, hot cherry pies-each order being twice the size of the previous one. Manders places the overalled eaters and their increasingly frazzled server in a classic country diner and piles the plates in countable stacks upon increasingly huger platters. The result is a lively alternative to the similarly themed likes of Stuart Murphy's Double the Ducks (2002), illustrated by Valerie Petrone, or Carol Losi's 512 Ants on Sullivan Street (1997), illustrated by Patrick Merrell. (Picture book. 5-7) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 September #1
This lesson in multiplication goes down smoothly, thanks to the exponential fun in the rhyming couplets and accompanying visuals. Papa McFay seen only as an imposing shadow orders his five sons not to chow down until they finish their chores. But a delicious aroma wafts their way from Minnie's Diner, and one after the other, the brothers shuck their responsibilities and make a beeline for the counter. Since each brother is "twice as big" as his preceding sibling, each orders twice as much as the brother before ("Make it a double," they instruct Minnie). Little Will starts the ball rolling with "1 soup/ 1 salad/ 1 sandwich/ some fries, and/ 1 of her special hot cherry pies." By the time oldest brother Dill (the spitting image of Paul Bunyan) takes his place at the counter, he's ready for 16 of everything and Manders (Dirt Boy) paints Minnie reaching the end of her waitressing rope. With Dodds's (The Great Divide) bouncy rhymes and Manders's assured gouaches, the book takes on the vivacity of a vintage animated cartoon; it's easy to imagine a musical score toodling along as Minnie scurries about and the sinuous, ghostly line of cooking fragrance draws the boys into the diner. There's even a solid punchline: the terribly intimidating shadow of Papa McFay turns out to belong to a scrawny little fella (think Snuffy Smith) who not only succumbs to the charms of Minnie's menu, but also asks for 32 of everything and cleans her out (Manders ends with a "Sorry, we're closed!" sign). Ages 5-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 August
K-Gr 2-One by one, each of the McFay brothers sneaks away from his farm chores and heads over to Minnie's Diner for her fabulous fare. Beginning with the youngest and smallest boy, Minnie serves each sibling successively twice as much food as the previous diner, because each brother is twice as large as the one before. After the fifth brother is presented with 16 portions of everything, Papa McFay enters the restaurant, wondering why none of the work has been done. Although he is short and skinny, he casts an enormous shadow across the floor, and to Minnie's consternation, orders a dinner that doubles that of his largest son. After bringing him a table-sized tray of food, Minnie has to close shop for the day. Told in jaunty rhymes with varied type sizes for emphasis, this funny story is illustrated with colorful cartoons done in gouache. Children will appreciate the humor and groan with delight when they recognize the math pattern and anticipate ever-larger amounts of food. Pair Dodds's book with Kathi Appelt's Bats on Parade (HarperCollins, 1999), also told in verse, for a fun first look at multiplication.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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