Christina Dobson, author
Christina Dobson lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband and two children (all pizza lovers). She is a graduate of Harvard University and earned an M.Ed. at the University of Michigan. She has taught high school Russian and Social Studies. Now Christina coordinates a family literacy program and assists with a mentoring program for teenage girls.
Read more about Christina.
Matthew Holmes, illustrator
Bio coming soon!
- ILA/CBC Children's Choices
Like Loreen Leedy's Measuring Penny (1998), this takes some basic mathematical concepts and illustrates them winningly--in this case, with pizza. The crust (with cheese and tomato sauce) represents a big, fat zero. Toppings, which illustrate numbers from 1 to 20, make things more interesting; combinations not only produce pictures (clocks, maps, flags) on the pizza but also illustrate a little addition, multiplication, and so on. Thirteen onion strips, 14 chives, 15 pepperoni slices, and 16 basil leaves makes a pretty impressive cat face, and by the time children get to 100 pieces of topping (mushrooms, peppers, olives, etc.), they'll have learned that Americans eat more than enough pizza every year to make a crust-to-crust path to the moon. The computer-manipulated pizzas are masterworks of food art and may inspire not only counting and fractions but also some cheese and pepperoni decoupage.
Pizza Counting by Christina Dobson, illus. by Matthew Holmes, introduces kids to counting and fractions using decorated pizzas. Kids can make a grinning pizza face with varying numbers of vegetables and learn how many pizzas it would take to circle the Earth at the Equator. Realistic artwork keeps the counting easy.
School Library Journal
The math concepts of addition, large numbers, and fractions are illustrated with artfully decorated pizzas depicting a smiling face, a cat, a flag, etc. The accompanying text counts the ingredients: "...five eggplant stars, six red onion strips, seven cheese stripes, and eight red pepper pieces." Numerals are used to show the total of two items, for example, 5+6=11. Another pie is symmetrically decorated with 100 garnishes and duplicated 10 times on one page and 100 times on the next to illustrate the numbers 1000 and 10,000. Millions and billions are demonstrated by citing the number of pizzas needed to circle the globe and to reach the moon. THe book concludes with the pies divided to show fractional concepts. The tone is instructional rather than entertaining, but this title's use for teaching may be complicated by the wide range of topics covered. The concepts are as simple as 1+2=3 and as complex as choosing the larger fraction between 1/12 and 1/4. Although the text gives some interesting facts about pizza, it sometimes lacks a clear focus. Still, the use of pizza provides a real-life application for learning. It is most effective in illustrating fractional concepts and helping students visualize large numbers.
Teaching Children Mathematics
Did you know that Americans eat more than 131 million pizzas a year? This is just one of the many interesting facts about pizza that you will learn in this book. Pizza is an all-time favorite among students. The book encourages students to think about numbers in a fun context. The text on each page includes a sentence about the various pizza designs and interesting facts about pizza. The illustrations are very appealing and the pizzas feature unique designs, including a whale, triceratops, cat, and clock. The only drawback is that some of them do not look realistic.
Pizza Counting meets many different levels and covers many mathematical concepts, such as number recognition, place value, number sentences, addition, multiplication, and fractions. The book includes a "Pizza Fractions" page that illustrates different fractions. Another page helps students determine which fraction is bigger. I would use this book for students in grades 2-4 to introduce and review the mathematical concepts that the book presents.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-291-5 PDF
Page count: 32
8 x 8