The teacher decides he is going to teach grouping by using the belongings of his students such as striped socks, wearing blue, have a cat or a dog. The little green-eyed girl who is telling the story repeatedly has none of the qualities mentioned. She’s frustrated at every turn by being unable to sit with her friends. She says this kind of grouping is not friendly. In the end, a boy named Max convinces the teacher to make a group with long ponytails which will include the little green-eyed girl.
The little green-eyed girl’s voice comes through loud and clear. The text is the correct size and font for a child to read. There is a perfect balance on each page between word and picture.
The paintings in this book have unique quality of expressiveness and subtle detail. The little green-eyed girl who is telling the story is not your picture perfect child. She has a turned up nose, big bushy eyebrows, and rather large ears which make her all the more lovable. Her emotion is transparently portrayed and we connect with her fear of not belonging in any group. The class is a diverse group of children and the teacher is African-American.
While this book can be used as an introduction to math groupings, it is also a good launching pad for discussion about inclusion and how we label people into certain categories. It is a short, simple book that carries a lot of weight. Highly recommended.
The author, Frances Gilbert, was interviewed on this blog on September 21, 2016.
A copy of this book was generously donated by the author to my Little Free Library.