Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations

Corace, Jen (Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2011. 36 pages
First published: 2011
ISBN: 9780061726552 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This book of clever equations captures essential elements from prose and links them using taut language and mathematical symbols: “laughter + keeping secrets + sharing = best friend.”

This beautiful book is likely to attract reluctant young readers. At the same time, the text offers a valuable exercise in thinking. Children may want to invent their own constructs of important people, pets, toys or events in their lives. Teachers and children alike can appreciate the underlying sophistication of a juxtaposition such as “chalk + sitting = school” with “chalk + jumping = hopscotch,” and the humour in “small + bottle = baby” with “tall + coffee = grown-up.”

The illustrations are a delight—equally artful and sweet. Sharp lines define pretty colours and choice details. Still, precise composition manages to convey spirit and liveliness. Dotted lines indicate breath blowing out birthday candles; the fire bends beneath them. A circle depicts a young dancer’s tulle skirt; a few lines represent its tucks and folds. The message is clear: whether it’s the baby birds of spring or the warm soup of fall, when you put them all together they create a full and rich life.

  •  

    Create equations similar to those in the book.

  •  

    Build equations about classroom rules or reading strategies and illustrate them. Post them as a classroom anchor chart.

  •  Try writing equations about friendship issues.
  •  

    Use sets of word cards taken from the book. Make new equations, and share them with the class. 

  •  

    Use the same cards (as above) to play a memory game. Match the three elements of the equations found in the book.

  •  

    Build equations about classroom rules or reading strategies and illustrate them. Post them as a classroom anchor chart.

  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Mathematics