Monday, 10 December 2012

Full House: An Invitation to Fractions


Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds, illustrated by Abby Carter (Walker Books)
PB RRP 44.95
ISBN 978-0-7636-6090-1
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

With illustrations in watercolour and black coloured pencil accompanying the rhyming verse, Full House is a simplified introduction to fractions presented in a delightful and entertaining manner. Aimed at the 6+ age group and designed in the Big Book format (dimension 343 X 360mm), it is created to be used in classrooms as well as in the home surrounded by children at floor or table level.

Mrs Bloom owns the Strawberry Inn which caters for five guests, in addition to a room of her own. She also allows animals to accompany the guests. She’s lucky enough to fill every room, and a full house gives her great joy. Dinner is cooked and served but unfortunately the best part is forgotten.

So, at night when everyone is supposed to be asleep, Mrs Bloom hears noises - amidst whispers, muffles and shuffles, shadows on walls make their way to the kitchen. Dogs and cats sit around with the humans enjoying the dessert of strawberry cake ‘with whipped cream piled high’ that has been forgotten. Luckily, they leave a piece for Mrs Bloom!

With each increase of another guest to the rented rooms, there is a change in the fraction. This is highlighted in a blue box at the bottom of the page after the guest has occupied the room. Superb animated expressions light up the characters faces. There is extraordinary detail on every page which is like a zoom lens which makes the illustrations more alive because of the size of the book. The story is simple, happy, and entertaining. There is so much to notice on every page, and makes the interplay of reading and learning fractions a game. The delightful front cover introduces Mrs Bloom holding her special cake with her Strawberry Inn in the background.

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