Yayy! Another nice review:
BIRTHA, Becky. Lucky Beans. illus. by Nicole Tadgell. unpaged. CIP. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2010. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-4782-3. LC 2009023901.
Gr 2-4–Money is tight during the Great Depression, and Marshall is tired of eating beans for dinner every night. When a local shopkeeper announces a contest to win a new sewing machine, he seizes the opportunity to make his Ma’s dreams come true. The catch is that to win it, he has to guess how many beans are in a jar. Birtha effortlessly describes how Marshall and his mother use math to find their answer. Young readers thus will discover fun, realistic applications for the estimating and multiplication skills they learn in their classrooms. Math is not the only subject in Birtha’s lively lesson plan, though. She also confronts the racism of the 1930s when a white girl tells African-American Marshall that he might not be allowed to enter the contest because “only white ladies can win contests.” An author’s note provides a brief description of the Great Depression and anecdotes from the author’s family history. Tadgell’s colorful illustrations, many full page, give the book an old-fashioned feel and include many period details, strengthening the text’s usefulness for social-studies classes. Children will appreciate the story’s humor and happy ending. Lucky Beans can be used across the curriculum to educate while it entertains. Ideal for classrooms and school libraries, it’s also a strong choice for public libraries.–Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY