These #EarlyMath posts feature books centered on big ideas featured in the math wisdom book Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know by Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Recently, we shared The Animals Would Not Sleep by Sara Levine and Marta Alvarez Miguens from the Charlesbridge Storytelling Math series, a magical #EarlyMath book centered on Sets. In this post, we share a second magical book from the Charlesbridge Storytelling Math series that centers around the big idea of Number Sense: Developing a Meaningful Sense of Quantity.
Published in 2020, Lia & Luís: Who Has More? by Ana Crespo and Giovana Medeiros offers a fresh story for an all-too-common situation: Sibling rivalry! [At least it is in my house. So much so, I hoping it peaks at ages 11 and 9, as my two oldest are often at each others throats. I can hear you parents of teenage children laughing:)]
In the book, Lia’s braggadocious brother Luís is sure he has snagged the better snack option from their family’s Brazilian grocery store. As he holds up his bag of tapioca biscuits to Lia’s two croquettes, he boasts: “I have more!”
But Lia’s not so sure. The siblings experiment with different methods to compare their yummy Brazilian snacks. Crespo’s simple story with a hint of sassiness captures the sibling-rivalry spirit brilliantly, while Medeiros’ bright, crisp illustrations make it fun and easy for young ones to follow along with the sibling’s problem-solving process. It’s no wonder that this book won a Mathical award for 2021.
This book is great for ages 3-6.
The math in this book is early number sense, in particular the concept of more. Young children are quite versed in this concept, often negotiating and communicating their desire for more. In our house, we used the ASL sign for more before my children learned to talk. In addition to cries, smiles and giggles, this sign became a key component of early communication in our house and was one of my children’s first words.
In Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know, the Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative remind us of the importance of early number sense with their second set of big ideas:
Number Sense: Developing a Meaningful Sense of Quantity
2a*: Numbers are used in many ways, some more mathematical than others.
2b: Quantity is an attribute of a set of objects and we use numbers to name specific quantities.
2c: The quantity of a small collection can be intuitively perceived without counting.
[* Erikson does not include these letter labels (a, b, c). I do it in order to refer to them later. They are not meant to denote any sort of learning progression.]
A strong number sense developed in the early years “is a key building block of learning arithmetic in the primary grades, as it connects counting to quantities, solidifies and refines the understanding of more and less and helps children estimate quantities and measurements.” (Erikson Institute, Big Ideas of Early Math, p. 30)
Lia & Luís: Who Has More? is a perfect resource for exploring and refining one’s concept of more and less while developing a meaningful sense of quantity. As they debate whether one bag of biscoito de polvilho (tapioca biscuits) is more than 2 croquettes or whether 100 biscuits is more than 2 croquettes, the siblings consider size, units, and quantity before ending up with a satisfying solution, which...SPOILER…
uses a pan balance!
For more information on the math of number sense and some ways to play around with this big idea at home: check out my new post at www.fairymathmother.com. Additionally, the Charlesbridge website offers Lia & Luís: Who Has More? title activities here (be sure to select the “Downloadables” tab).
Landon’s desire for a fair share among the siblings was strong from the beginning of this book. He sided with each sibling at different parts of the argument. His preference was for the sibling with the larger number, while disregarding the unit. For example, when Luís brags he has more because his bag bigger and Lia disagrees comparing her 2 croquettes to Luís‘ 1 bag, Landon shouts, “That’s cheating, she has TWO!” Later when Luis dumps his bag and counts individual biscuits for the win, Landon responded: “He’s cheating now. He has one hundred” and proceeded making police car sounds. He was thrilled to see it all worked out fairly in the end.
In addition to the great story, we enjoyed the Portuguese language sprinkled through the dialogue and found the pronunciation key in the back matter helpful. As I read , Landon asked: “Mom why are you not talking in English?” After I explain it was because Lia and Luís are Brazilian and speak Portuguese, Landon started saying the words along with me. His favorite is para which means stop in Portuguese.
As with all magical math books, Lia & Luís: Who Has More? has had many rereads. During one, Landon suggested:
“We should get those snacks. Let’s get a lot of those…Like one million of those (he said pointing to the biscuits) and one million of those (pointing to the croquettes).”
And so after a little research on where to buy them, we headed off to Brazilian Bowl in Chicago. On our way, Landon assured me, “Don’t worry mom, I won’t brag. If I have more.” I laughed recalling the story and Luís’s bragging.
When we got to the store they informed us, they were all out of tapioca biscuits so we substituted them with Yokitos brand cheese flavored corn chips, which Landon reports are way better than Pirate Booty and proceeded to eat the entire bag on the way home while asking: “How do they make it so good and delicious?”
By the way, I’m with Lia on the croquettes. I’m still thinking about them. So good and delicious. I’m also left wondering, How does Charlesbridge make their Storytelling Math picture books so magical? Lia & Luís: Who Has More? is another one to add to the list. And we can’t wait to share more soon from Charlesbridge. [If you have a math story to share, Charlesbridge is looking for more magic to add to their list, submissions due August 1st, 2021, see here for info]
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