I’ve always liked Roman numerals. During my thirteenth year I was known to record the date in my math book using Roman numerals. It would look something like this…
Julius XXV, MMVII
Ah, yes, I also threw in a bit of Latin. Just for good measure.
That said, I really enjoyed this book. In it, Arthur Geisert applies himself to helping children enjoy learning Roman numerals through an ‘I Spy’ technique. Geisert doesn’t spend a whole lot of time explaining the seven numerals, and this was, I thought, the weakest point of the book. It’s all very well for him to tell children to count the ‘V’ pigs in the picture – an achievable number – but no kid could count all ‘M’ pigs in a picture, and he never mentions that the numeral ‘M’ stands for 1000.
The book was very strong, however, in applying the numerals and helping children to be interested in remembering their value. He does this by drawing farmyard photos, populating them with a variety of objects, then giving children instructions to find ‘III’ tracyors, ‘XX’ chain links’, XVIII’ bottles, and ‘VL’ pigs. Also, Geisert made a surprisingly good job of gradually increasing the difficulty of these I Spy pages.
The illustration style is gray-based and bespeaks of cloudy, dreary days. For some reason, this added to the epic atmosphere of the book.
Conclusion. A good resource which children should enjoy – parents can supply some additional information here and there, but the material is easy to understand.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret