If You Hopped Like a Frog

David M. Schwartz, Author, Mark Ed. Schwartz, Author, James Warhola, Illustrator Scholastic Press $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-590-09857-1
In this high-spirited book, Schwartz does for ratio and proportion what he did for numbers in How Much Is a Million? The author, in an opening letter to readers, admits his secret childhood wish: that he could ""hop like a frog,"" which leads to its corollary--""Once you know that a frog can jump twenty times its body length, you can figure out how far you could hop if you hopped like a frog."" Schwartz continues to extrapolate such kinds of information into fun-filled comparisons: ""If you ate like a shrew, you could devour over 700 hamburgers in a day!"" Warhola (Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella) matches the text with wit and whimsy, as he imagines what would happen if children grew as fast in their first nine months after birth as they do during pregnancy: a gigantic baby tips an enormous seesaw that uses a mountaintop for a fulcrum and raises a mound of 2.5 million elephants at the other end. Author and artist wisely let the dramatic facts speak for themselves, with just a bit of a wink: ""If you flicked your tongue like a chameleon... you could whip the food off your plate without using your hands! But what would your mother say?"" The book concludes with straightforward mathematical and zoological explanations for each vignette, then invites readers to undertake some simple and amusing equations of their own. Trivia fans and aspiring scientists alike will revel in these pages. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
Genre: Children's
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