children, mathematics

How to Avoid the Fearsome Cat

Author: Yoon Jeong Choi
Illustrator: Hyun Kyeong Shim
Publisher: Tantan Publishing
Genre: Children / Mathematics
ISBN: 978-1-939248-14-5
Pages: 38
Price: $16.95

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Fifteen mice living in a storage shed on a farm watch the blizzard raging outside. Inside it’s cozy and warm, and there are boxes stacked around them, filled with food. So when the cat delivers a message that he intends to eat the mice for dinner, they are understandably upset. How can they continue to live in their cozy shed while avoiding the fearsome cat?

One elder mouse remembers a story about another cat long ago and how the mice defeated him. It involved hanging something around his neck. But what was it? As the fifteen mice debate, many ideas are discussed and they don’t all agree. So they begin to vote on their choices, recording their votes in various ways. They line up in rows, gather chestnuts into a pile, and draw chestnuts in a column. In all three discussions, it’s clear which choice is the winner. And when they do come up with a terrific plan, the fearsome cat troubles them no longer.

How to Avoid the Fearsome Cat is a great resource in teaching kids graphs and mathematical thinking. Using various techniques in the story, as well as exercises in the back pages, kids are asked to determine the results of the data they collect. Kids will have fun learning their graphs while watching the mice defeat the fearsome cat.

Reviewer: Alice Berger