—Brightly on Goodnight, Numbers
—L.A. Parent Magazine
About Ten Magic Butterflies
Fairies, butterflies, and magic help to make this math-focused picture book from Danica McKellar, the New York Times bestselling author of Goodnight, Numbers and star of The Wonder Years, positively enchanting!
Join ten flower friends for a night of excitement that mixes a little math with a lot of magic. As each flower turns into a butterfly, children will discover different ways to group numbers to create ten, an essential building block of math, all while watching each flower’s dream come true. (And keep an eye out for the adorable caterpillar who wishes he could fly, too!)
In this, the second book in the McKellar Math line, actress, math whiz, and New York Times bestselling author Danica McKellar once again sneaks in secret math concepts to help make your child smarter and uses her proven math success to show children that loving numbers is as easy as a wave of a wand and a BING BANG BOO!
One day when my son was three years old, were in our backyard near some little white flowers, and a couple of little white butterflies flew by. He asked me if the butterflies came from the flowers. I said, “I’m not sure, but that would make a good story. Then he turned to me, with the biggest eyes and said, “Will you tell me that story?” And so Ten Magic Butterflies was born…
Letter from the back of Ten Magic Butterflies
Congratulations on putting your child on the path to a lifelong love of numbers!
As you probably know, there is an epidemic in this country of kids growing up learning to fear math, which of course can adversely affect their futures in countless ways. It’s a slow but steady process that begins at a very young age as they absorb the negative stereotypes surrounding math (that it’s foreign, scary, not needed in life) from the media—and even from family and friends. And with every day that passes in our increasingly tech-driven society, math becomes more and more critical for our children’s success.
The good news is, we have the power to do something about it! And what is the solution? Making sure our kids see math as “friendly” and relevant in their lives, and it’s never too soon to start.
In Ten Magic Butterflies, as your child is swept up in the magical transformation of the flowers (and perhaps even absorbing a “grass is always greener” lesson of gratitude!), a very important mathematical concept is on display: “Making 10 in Different Ways,” a fundamental stepping stone to addition and subtraction, and the key to the most important Fact Families they will learn—those totaling 10. Being familiar with this book will also prime your child for the concept of regrouping, which will eventually allow him/her to intuitively transform 8 + 5 into 10 + 3 to get the answer 13—no guessing or memorization needed. What a gift! By reading this book every night, we are giving our children tools to excel and are deliberately shaping how they see math—as an approachable, integral part of their world.
So when you’re at the grocery store, point out the unit prices. When you cook, show them the fractions on the measuring cups. And when it comes time for bed, read books like this one, where I’ve snuck math education into stories that feel like playtime. You’ll be giving your child the priceless gift of confidence in math, which will shape how they see themselves their entire lives—as strong, empowered adults who understand the value of numbers . . . and who certainly aren’t going to let a little math scare them off.
How To Get The Most Out Of
Ten Magic Butterflies:
- Count the flowers and butterflies out loud on each page, and talk about why the total is always 10. (We aren’t gaining or losing any amount when the flowers transform—they are just changing shape!)
- On the endpapers, take note of the flower/butterfly groupings and notice there is always a total of 10. These groupings actually resemble “ten-frames”—a teaching tool your child will see in early elementary school. Ask your child if she/he can tell you how many in each grouping are flowers and how many are butterflies.
- Use your fingers to show how 3 and 7 make 10, how 4 and 6 also make 10, etc.
- Make your own ten-frames at home! Use an egg carton with two sections cut off (so there are 10 instead of 12), and use two different-colored balls or two types of objects to fill them —or even make your own small flowers and butterflies as crafts to fi ll them. Ask your child which is his/her favorite combination of numbers to make 10.
Come up with your own ideas, and send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, and lately for her popular movies on Hallmark Channel, Danica McKellar is the New York Times bestselling author of “Math Doesn’t Suck,” “Kiss My Math,” “Hot X,” and “Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape,” books aimed at middle school and high school readers. She is also an internationally-recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and the New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a ground-breaking mathematical physics theorem which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem).Read More