Bean Thirteen offers an amusing introduction to math to young children. Two bugs – Ralph and Flora – gather some beans and attempt to share them evenly. But they find that they have gathered thirteen beans – and neither wants the unlucky thirteenth bean.
They decide to invite a friend and split the beans between the three of them but find to their surprise that bean thirteen is still left over. As they keep expanding their guest list, they find that thirteen beans simply will not be divided evenly between their guests. Luckily, Ralph inadvertently finds the perfect solution to the problem.
Author and illustrator Matthew McElligott’s grandfather was an accountant; therefore, he finds it only natural that he should write a book about counting beans. Vivid and brightly colored pen and ink drawings enhance the charm and whimsy of this tale. Children will learn an important concept about indivisible numbers while appreciating Ralph and Flora’s quandary about what to do with thirteen beans. (Usha Reynolds/2009 for curled up with a good kid’s book )