Albert the Muffin-Maker

illus. by Deborah Melmon. 32p. (Mouse Math). Kane Pr. 2014. lib. ed. $22.60. ISBN 9781575656311; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781575656328; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9781575656335. LC 2013037986.
PreS-Gr 1—An adorable mouse and his sister deliver a lesson about ordinal numbers as they bake oatmeal muffins. Oddly, the book excludes specific measurements in the recipe that Albert uses, but the ordinal-number theme is thoughtfully constructed, and each ordinal (e.g., 11th, 12th) is presented in bold and with a matching visual icon. At the end of the book, additional follow-up discussion questions and a recipe for playdough cookies (this time with measurements) provide useful extension activities. Although the theme of ordinal numbers is prominent, young readers will not feel overly instructed; Melmon's endearing mice, created with soft watercolor and pencil, are enough to carry the story.—Nora Clancy, Teachers College Community School, New York City
Mouse Albert sets out to make muffins ("By myself!"). He finds he's fresh out of the first ingredient, then the second, third, and so on, but thanks to his neighbors' generosity, the baking project is a success. Softly illustrated, friendly-looking mice welcome readers to the contrived but effective primer on ordinal numbers (with a bonus lesson on sharing). Two activity pages are appended.

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