Booklist: The Lion’s Share

Booklist: Set on the savannah, this original animal fable weaves math exercises into a story about sharing. At an elegant dinner hosted by the lion king, a tiny ant is appalled at the poor manners of her fellow animal guests, who arrive late, throw food, and talk only about themselves. Dessert is even worse. The elephant takes half the cake for himself, and each guest, following his greedy lead, takes half of the remaining portions until only a tiny crumb is left for the ant and the lion. Mortified, the ant offers to bake a new cake for the lion. Then the beetle offers to bake two cakes, and a round of one-upmanship (and math practice) ensues: each animal offers double the number of cakes proposed by the previous guest. McElligott’s digitally touched ink-and-watercolor artwork combines expressive animal characters with clear groupings of objects that illustrate the embedded arithmetic exercises. While the story will find an obvious place in early elementary math or character education units, the lively illustrations amplify the story’s slapstick humor and will easily entertain story hour crowds.