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Earth Day--Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy
This picture book has two goals. The first is to educate kids about the importance of recycling and caring about earth’s resources and the second is to introduce kids to place value. However, a, additional result of reading this book is likely to be that children can see the power in setting goals and working in a team. Earth Day--Hooray begins with a group of kids who are cleaning up a park and getting discouraged by just how much trash there is to clean up. They also wish there were flowers in the park and not just grass and a few trees. Their teacher has an idea to gather the aluminum cans that they find and to use the money they could get at a recycling plant to buy flowers to plant at the park. The kids gather the cans in bags of ten and bags of 100. They get the other children at school involved in the project and eventually their neighborhood as well. Each day they add the number of cans they collect to the number they had collected previously to see what the new total is and eventually their goal of collecting 5,000 cans is reached. The concept here is deceptively easy...it’s just adding of course. However, but using the groups of 10, 100 and then 1,000 the reader will quickly come to see that there is a lot of learning involved in the story. The author also has great suggestions on how to extend the story to give the reader more practice in grouping and place value.