Isobel Adds It Up

Random House Studio. Jun. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593178102.
PreS-Gr 3–Sprawled across her bed, pencil poised, Isobel, a mathematically minded young Black girl, is eager to add, subtract, multiply, and divide her way to completing her homework assignment. In charming artwork, clouds of numbers, symbols, graphs, and equations billow from her busy brain and dance across the page in a swirl of arithematical bliss. Then Isobel is distracted by the ruckus coming from her new neighbors. The equations in her head are abruptly replaced with theories of what is happening next door. Acrobats? Marching band? Conga line? Isobel worries that she will not be able to finish her assignment if the noisy neighbors can not quiet down. Engaging her problem-solving skills, Isobel whips up a batch of cookies and a note of plea for the neighbors. She unexpectedly receives a response from another girl, Bernadette, who is not anything like Isobel imagined. In her debut picture book, Everington delivers a story sure to inspire early elementary school students also beginning to learn basic math.
VERDICT An imaginative read-aloud recommended for teachers wanting to connect literacy and math and for public libraries looking to upgrade their collection of girl-empowering STEAM books.

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