by Ethan Long
32 pages; ages 4-7
Holiday House, 2014
themes: math, humor
"Walter wheels out the Whammer. Here comes Wendell! Watch him whiz through the air!"
The Wing Wing Brothers are a family circus act of five wacky birds: Walter, Wendell, Willy, Wilmer, and Woody. They do their best to make math painless and fun. Using magic wands and feats of daring they whip those polygons into shape.
Their first amazing feat - Describing Relative Positions - opens with a blast, boom, splat! Their goal: Launch a
What I like about this book: it's silly and a fun way to play with math - as long as kids don't try these stunts at home! The alliterative language is fun, too.
Beyond the book: The first thing I wanted to do after reading this book was see how many different shapes I could make using just triangles and squares. Easy to do - just cut a couple or three index cards into right triangles and a square and put them together.
Tangrams! A tangram is a puzzle of seven shapes that are put together to form specific shapes, such as a rabbit or a boat. The tans (pieces) are: two large right triangles, two small right triangles, one medium right triangle, a square and a parallelogram. If you don't have a tangram puzzle, you can make one - directions here (you might want to trace the pieces onto a cereal box so they last longer). Or you can play with the puzzle online here.
Go on a field trip to find shapes. The best place to hunt for triangles (and other straight-edged shapes) is around town: bridges, buildings, playgrounds.
STEM Friday blog to see what other people are talking about in science. Review copy provided by publisher.