Earth Day – Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy

It almost feels like a cheat to call this book “about” Earth Day, because that’s really just a cover for something sneaky… a math lesson!

The kids at Maple Street School are cleaning up the park for Earth Day, and they’d sure like to plant some flowers to make it look pretty. But where to get the money? How about they collect and recycle some aluminum cans? Their teacher thinks 5,000 cans should about do the job.

The math lesson taught is place value – ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands – making this a book for older preschoolers who are curious about numbers (the published suggests ages 7 and up, but I think that’s too high).  Beyond that, Earth Day – Hooray! offers some good lessons on team work, civic action, promoting a cause, and overcoming a disappointment. Oh, yeah, there’s quite a bit about recycling, too, but it’s tucked away in little signs and balloons in the illustrations. You almost have to search out the Earth Day message.

The illustrations are colorful and done in a cartoon style. The last two pages of the book offer ideas for grownups to extend the lessons – both math and environmental – and offers suggestions of additional books on the topics.

Overall, I have to say I like getting two different lessons in one book. Lots here to talk about; expect to have to repeat it several times while your child gets a firm grasp of the material.

Available on Amazon

Earth Day – Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by Renee Andriani. HarperCollins Publishers 2004.

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