Any Shelter Cats Left?

Lerner. (Math All Around/Pull Ahead Readers–Fiction). Jan. 2024. 16p. $27.99. ISBN 9798765608647.
PreS-Gr 1–A collection of early readers that has controlled vocabulary and simple stories with themes of addition, subtraction, patterns, and shapes. In Kara Loves Stripes (see ISBN 9798765608609), a blonde girl with fair skin notices stripes in her household and identifies patterns in them. Ben’s Birthday Shapes (see ISBN 9798765608616) tells of a boy with brown hair and light tan skin who sees different shapes in the objects present at his birthday party. In Saving Up (see ISBN 9798765608593), a boy with fair skin and dark hair does various household chores for $1 to $2, adds up his earnings, and uses them to buy a toy for a friend’s birthday party. In Any Shelter Cats Left?, a young man with curly brown hair and brown skin, apparently a volunteer or employee of an animal shelter, asks readers how many cats will be left if some are adopted. The text is appropriate for emerging readers and is decodable when paired with the images, which appear digitally drawn. Illustrations are relevant to the text and diverse in terms of race and gender but lack vibrancy and distinction. This series may supplement kindergarten math instruction and reading practice, and could be useful to a teacher assessing math or reading. However, it’s unlikely that children would select these for independent reading practice.
VERDICT An acceptable fiction early reader series on beginner math concepts that classroom teachers may find useful.

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