Peg + Cat: Pirates Ahoy! And Other REALLY Big Problems!

Peg + Cat: Pirates Ahoy! And Other REALLY Big Problems! 85 min. Dist. by PBS. 2014. $12.99. ISBN 9781627891424.
PreS-Gr 3—"Shiver me timbers!" Come along with friends Peg and Cat and a crew of crazy characters who learn lessons, such as sharing, counting, and reading a map. Seven episodes teach and reinforce math concepts, including counting, adding, and subtraction. Map skills are introduced using treasure hunts and measuring, and problem solving and calming down are important social skills presented in each episode. Catchy songs abound, and you might find yourself singing along and rocking out with the children in the "dance party" segments. One segment, "Scrap of Map Problem," feels like an operetta or Broadway musical as the story is related through song. Another features planning a playdate ("The Pirate Puzzle Problem"), and one involves what happens at a sleepover ("The Sleepover Problem"). The repetition in the episode format allows children to become familiar with each character's personality or skill when a problem is introduced. The calm-down technique involves counting backward from five. It demonstrates how to slow down and think through a problem. Attractive and printable special features include a board game, Cat sock beanie instructions, Peg and Cat stick puppets, and flip-books.
VERDICT Very useful for Pirate Day programming, it reinforces basic math concepts, emphasizes social skills, and provides musical fun for young children.

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