Reviews and Endorsements
Armchair Interviews - June 2008
I simply love My Half Day! There that’s the review. It’s that simple. On second thought, there is so much more you should know about My Half Day. The books that came before it are One Odd Day (odd numbers) and My Even Day (even numbers).
My Half Day is a day in the life of a young boy. He wakes up to discover he has a half-head of hair. Wow! His milk is two-thirds gooey paste, there’s a moving van with three-fourths of a ramp, at Camp Fraction four-fifths of the counselors have a special mode of transportation–and it goes on and on. It’s a fun-filled day with fractions!
The illustrations are wild, wacky and quirky, and kids will laugh (as will adults) and want more. As the mother and grandmother of a racially diverse family, I enjoyed seeing an array of racially diverse children.
And just like all of the Sylvan Dell titles, there is a section at the back of the book that helps continue the learning of fractions. And if the reader goes to Sylvan Dell’s web site and click on the book’s cover, there are supplemental learning materials.
Armchair Interviews says: Fun for families to read, but also a great addition to libraries and schools. Teachers, check this out!
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Macaroni Kid-February 2011
Looking for a book to teach about simple fractions? My Half Day is the book to do the trick! It is another silly and educational story about the same boy and his day involving fractions! Each book also has a section in the back of the books called For Creative Minds and it is very helpful. What I like best about all three books is how they make the simple Math concepts entertaining. Children that don't love Math will even enjoy these books a great deal.
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Ready Set Read Reviews - Dec 15, 2008
My Half Day is book all about imagination and math, or more specifically about fractions. One morning our lead character wakes up to find his head half shaved and half not. And this is just the start of a day filled with craziness and fun, and one that is consistantly filled with fractions. From breakfast to heading out for camp to playing soccer with aliens from Mars, Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed did a great job mixing in the concept of fractions in a real to life manner that will help readers grasp the idea and see how it applies to real life.
I myself have never been a pro at math. I do okay, but it was never my strongest subject. Likewise, one of the biggest things I remember finding aggravating was fractions. They seemed silly and pointless- until I started to understand how fractions really do apply to daily life. Is the cup half full? How much flour do I need to make cookies? How many people from the group will be playing and how many reading- 2/3? How much of my dollar did I spend? The concept was daunting.
This is why I'm excited to be able to recommend this book by Sylvan Dell. Because the authors really did do a wonderful job of incorporating the number game in to an easy to understand format. Combined with the winning illustrations by Karen Lee, My Half Day is a book that can be read purely for the entertainment value, for the applicable educational aspects, or both. I can see it being an excellent teaching tool, though I think a lot of the math aspects might be a bit too much for the younger readers to grasp quite yet. Both my 3 yr old and my 5 yr understand the concept of halves, but they aren't quite to the recognition and full understanding of any of the more advanced fractions yet. This book will serve as a great resource though for helping teach both of them more about 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, etc. I'm just not sure they'll catch on immediately.
I'd highly recommend this book for teachers to include in their class libraries and also to include on class reading lists. It's an ideal training tool that comes with a fun storyline that will keep the reader interested, even if the fractions go over his/her head initially. Plus, as appears to be the case with most, if not all, of Sylvan Dell's children's books, there is an educational "Creative Minds" section at the back. This section helps explain, more indepth, the concept of halves, quarters, thirds, and other fractions. There's a mix and match game section that shows each fraction written out (2/3, 1/3, 1/2, 1/4, and 3/4) and then a list of pictures with "x" amount of segments filled in or missing (think pie charts). Lastly there's a Pizza Party game page you can look to the next time you make pizza, and want to make a fun learning experience out of it. The grid on the page shows two pizzas with varying size pizza slices. Readers can compare both to see in which instance they'd have more or less to eat based on the pizza slice sizes and numbers. This would be a fun way to incorporate math and learning in to dinner time.
OUR RATING: 5 hearts
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Eclectic Homeschool Online-January 2012
Details, jokes in picture form, and colorful illustrations abound in this book, and your child will love to read it over and over to find the different things found in the book. We find the same characters as in the other book such as Mrs. Dodd, and the boy’s dog Princess. We also meet his friend Donna, who goes on the camp adventure with him. We had high hopes that he would wake up and things would be normal, but we also laughed to see that he will apparently be learning about time next, since his dad’s face was a clock! We enjoyed these books, and when I finished this one my children said, “Read the next one!” We can’t wait to see what comes next in these odd but fun books.
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Craig Daily Press, Colorado - March 2009
Learning fractions can be lots more fun for children if there’s a fun, imaginative book to help. “My Half Day,” written by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed, is such a book. The clever artwork was done by award-winning illustrator, Karen Lee. The book is intended for young people through third grade.
Children will not only enjoy reading the story but finding fractions and other “oddities” that are hidden in the artwork.
The story begins one morning when a boy looks in his mirror. (Fractions are printed all around the mirror’s frame.) Imagine his shock when he finds one half of his hair to be fuzz and the other half still long.
But the boy doesn’t have much time to reflect on his hair because Dad is calling his son to breakfast. Dad offers the boy three muffins from a pan that’s designed to hold six. The boy has a glass of milk that’s two-thirds gooey paste, and there’s a lot more on the table.
A chocolate-iced cake with a piece missing, two slices of pizza, measuring spoons, a measuring cup, a half gallon of juice and a ruler all can be used in an interesting discussion of fractions.
But the boy is in a hurry to drink his gooey milk. Dad says the moving van has arrived, and his friend Donna is waiting.
The van, owned by “Two and a Third Guys and a Truck Mover,” has three-fourths of a ramp. Today, the van won’t be used to move furniture. Instead, it will transport the boy, Donna, and the boy’s dog, Princess, to Camp Fraction.
The children, dressed in yellow shirts with “Camp Fraction” on the fronts and “1/2” on the backs “clatter like coconuts” in the van, but finally, they arrive at Camp Fraction.
There are neat things to do at camp, such as archery practice. Targets are painted on cactus. One target is marked into halves; the other is marked into sixths.
Donna and the boy try out the canoe, too, intending to do some fishing. Boy, are there a lot of fractions to talk about in the canoe.
But perhaps the most fun of all is a soccer game. Miss Dodd, the referee, says each goal will count five-eighths. Four-ninths, members of the opposing team, are from out of town — way out of town. They’ve come to Camp Fraction via space ship. The team members are from Mars!
One great big green creature wears a shirt with 1000/4537 on the front. He wears green shorts and big red tennis shoes. Another team member resembles a big blue bird, and still another looks like a cross between a dinosaur and a domesticated dog.
After the game, both teams sit on three-tenths of a log and roast Mars-mallows and Saturn-s’mores.
There’s a big surprise at the end.
“My Half Day” is the third in a series of books. The first two, “One Odd Day” and “My Even Day,” won one of “Learning Magazine’s” 2008 Teachers Choice Awards for Children’s Books.
Sylvan Dell Publishing provides online resources and support for all three books. Children also can find pages of math information and exercises on the last pages of the books.
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The Reading Tub - July 2008
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 7 to 10
Age of Child: Read with girl nearly 7 years old.
Little Kid Reaction: Our daughter has been waiting anxiously for this book ever since her class read My Even Day. She laughed her way through the book, pointing out the differences, changes, and otherwise funny things (like camp counselors on skates).
Big Kid Reaction: This is fun to read, and the illustrations offer lots of opportunities for exploring (with or without reading the text). It will take a couple more readings before our child gets past the humor of the story and settles in to its lessons.
Pros: Kids will enjoy this humorous, well-illustrated introduction to fractions.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a must have for the elementary school library. For kids who are just learning fractions or are struggling with them, this would be a handy book to have. It's much more fun than flashcards.
Educational Themes: Use this book to help you make fractions relevant for kids. It is easy to take everyday events build math lessons around them. If you aren't naturally inclined toward math (like me), thumb through the pages and get ideas from the illustrations. You can also use the For Creative Minds section.
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Children's Literature Comprehensive Database - Aug 2008
It is easy to tell that humor is on the way when the book’s main character wakes up to discover his head of hair is half long and half buzzed! Simple rhyming stanzas add to the fun as the young boy learns fractions in unique ways. A trip to Camp Fraction presents the opportunities for campers to learn about one-sixth, four-fifths, two-sevenths, and other fractions through activities such as archery, boating, and playing soccer with Martians. A trip on a spaceship materializes once the game is over and the tale ends with the young boy relieved to wake up the following day with a whole head of hair. This book successfully fiddles with fractions in a fun, yet educational way and the zany illustrations hold a variety of humor. Utilize the book as a math supplement when teaching fractions, or possibly use it for creative writing and have students come up with original fraction tales. The book is a follow-up to One Odd Day and My Even Day. Both of these are also strong math supplements. - Nancy Attebury
Teaching Children Mathematics - March 2009
My Half Day revolves around fractions of all types. A young boy has an exciting, oddly eventful day at Fraction Camp, where all activities relate to parts of a whole. The day culminates in an out-of-this-world soccer game with fractional scoring. The book's theme is confusing, especially for primary-aged children, for whom the authors recommend the book. The title is misleading; the book is actually about encounters with a variety of fractions during an entire day. Although the author points out many ways that we can show parts of a whole, the larger number examples are too difficult for young children. The book is better suited for students in grades 4 and up, who study a wider variety of fractions and decimals. Many of the fractions are present merely for decoration and do not add to the story's theme. However, the illustrations are engaging - showing examples of parts of a whole (i.e., clocks, phases of the moon, musical notes, money, etc.) - and the story is clever.
In the Pages - Aug 2008
My Half Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed, illustrated by Karen Lee is a great follow up to My Even Day and One Odd Day by Fisher. See why I love these books??? Math and Science all in picture book format - I LOVE it!! This book would be great for fractions, measuring, etc. ~ wonderful math!!!! AND be sure to go to their website for even more activities that go with the book - they are a wealth of information for teachers!
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Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed have written another wonderful book that makes math FUN for children. Everywhere you look in My Half Day there are fractions. The archery targets are divided into two or six pieces. Which one is easier to hit with an arrow? Team uniforms have numbers 2/3, 3/16, and 5/8 on them instead of boring old 2, 7 or 10.
The main character starts his day with half a head of hair. The other half is shaved close. By the end of the book his hair is even again, but the last page of My Half Day is all about clocks and watches. I have a sneaky suspicion that the authors have a book about telling time on the drawing board.
There are great math games and exercises in the back of the book. My favorite, which shows two pizzas divided into six or eight pieces, asks if the reader would rather have 1/6th or 1/8th of a pizza? I know what my answer is—1/6th for SURE.
Bravo to the authors and illustrator for creating a big, colorful book about a topic that isn’t always so entertaining. -- Carmen Bredeson, Award-winning author of 80 nonfiction books for young readers
YMCA Preschool, Cary, North Carolina - May 2008
Your Even book was gr8t,
Your Odd book was 3illing,
Your Half book was TWICE the fun!