Saturday, September 5, 2009

REVIEW: Ninety-Three in My Family

Perl, E.S.  (2006).  Ninety-Three in My Family.  New York:  Abrams Books for Young Readers.
When prompted, the narrator lists all of the 93 members of his family to his disbelieving teacher.  The poem goes beyond just listing members to share about the family's eating habits, the difficulty of fitting everyone in the car, etc.
The rhymes are occasionally forced, but still effective.  There is a lot of repetition of certain stanzas to help nervous readers through the text.
The illustrations are fun and humorous, with the pets often shown in awkward or cute positions.
Ninety-Three in My Family could be used as an example approach to have students describe their own family.  It could also be used as a more advanced counting book or a book to show addition.
This book could also be used to help mediate conflicts common to large families including disputes over food, such as when children feel like their pizza topping preferences are ignored.
Quotes of Note:
"One day, my teacher asked me, 
"How many live with you?"
I counted quickly in my head.
I told her, "Ninety-two."
"I shrugged my shoulders and began
to list my family:"
"My mommy and my daddy,
My sister's gerbil, Ed,
Six goldfish and my sisters,
Darlene and Winifred."
"Whenever people ask me
How many live with me,
I tell them true, there's ninety-two.
Plus one (that's me!), we're ninety-three."

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