Counting down at the start

8th December 1995 at 00:00
Everyday Maths, By Annie Owen, At Home. - 0 7502 1393 0.

Ourselves - 0 7502 1392 2.

Fun with Food. - 0 7502 13949.

Out and about. - 0 7502 1395 7. Wayland Pounds 8.99 each Age range 5 - 11.

This new series presents maths to young children as a practical, real-life experience. Each of the four hardbacks covers a similar range of ideas, including the presentation of information in various forms, measurements, time and money, together with number, shapes and pattern.

The repetition of concepts in different contexts is welcome and the presentation is refreshingly uncluttered. The text is set in a bold font and the content is expressed gently and clearly. The books are bright and well-illustrated in full colour with some excellent photography and simple, child-appealing artwork by Clare Mattey.

The wealth of visual information is a real bonus and features a healthy diversity of people, locations and perspectives. There is also a positive approach to social, health and environmental issues.

Each double-spread focuses on a practical activity such as shopping and explores the evidence of mathematical processes or applications in this context. The author offers a simple follow-up activity in each case to reinforce the child's understanding. A nice feature is the inclusion of a jolly little dice and counter game at each centre spread, with a set of simple and perfectly fair rules.

At the back of each book, there is a clear, simple index to the areas of mathematics and a glossary which uses definitions which are good enough to be quoted direct. Annie Owen also provides a short, intelligent section of notes for parents and teachers.The books should appeal to a broad primary age-range and work particularly well when read aloud and used for discussion. Recommended for libraries and maths corners.

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