Bean Thirteen

Bean Thirteen by Matthew McElligott.

Even though Ralph tells her not to pick the unlucky thirteenth bean, Flora goes ahead and picks it.  She figures that they can simply divide the thirteen beans between them and not have thirteen any more.  But math is not quite that simple, and they are forced to divide again and again until they finally reach a solution that doesn’t divide evenly, but solves the problem.

The glory of this book is in its use of math as a real part of the storyline.  Add to that the humor of the text and you have one of those rare math books that can be enjoyed by an audience!  Even better, the vibrant illustrations feature luscious and bulging beans and pop-eyed insects.  The entire book is friendly, fun and filled with math. 

Recommended as a read-aloud for math classes in kindergarten and first grade, this could also be used in other classes or story times because the story is so good all on its own.  Be prepared to have some items around for children to practice dividing!