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Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On

Hungry for Math
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Winters, Kari-Lynn and Lori Sherritt-Fleming. (December, 2014). Illustrated by Peggy Collins. Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On [was Count Us In]. Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 32 pages. Ages 5-8. ISBN-10: 1554553075, ISBN-13: 978-1554553075. Sequel to aRHYTHMetic. Followed by Hungry for Science: Poems to Crunch On and Hungry for the Arts: Poems to Chomp On.


Kari Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming team up again for another poetry collection for young readers with the emphasis on addition, subtraction, and numbers. This collection of fun poems put the emphasis on math and numbers concepts including measuring time, patterns, counting, symmetry, numbers, shapes, estimating and more!

He was hungry for math, always ready to munch.
Math for his breakfast. Math for his lunch.



  • Winner, Ontario Library Association’s Rainforest of Reading Reoder’s Choice Award for Grade 5 (2016).
  • Selected, Vancouver Public Library and the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of B.C. Society’s Reading Lights program.

Reading Lights

Hungry for Math is featured in the Vancouver Public Library and the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of B.C. Society’s “Reading Lights” program, with an excerpt on a plaque near Cooper’s Park, a children’s playground and dog park in Vancouver. Pictured above: co-author Lori Sherritt. See


    Review, in Lost in the Rain (June 3, 2015), online at

    This colorful book is a wonderful reminder that Math is all around us. My young reader wanted to dive into it right away. She loved the big beautiful illustrations!

    I must admit, I loved to read some of the poems out loud to her, I don’t know who had more fun?

    This book is a great way to introduce some simple math concepts to children. (“Skip Counting,” “Symmetry” etc. There is a small lexicon in the back of the book as well with more terminology)

    Hungry for Math would make for a great addition to a classroom library as well. It’s a great trampoline to further certain math notions. I can easily see this book being used in the classroom, The “Spendasour” would definitely make a fun way to introduce counting money.

    For me, the fact that I can get my children to go beyond the writing and the imagery is a huge bonus.. They can not only seek shapes in The Shape of Things but then we can go around the house and find some too!! My personal favorite was “The Balanced Bee.” “Now fold your paper. It’s plain to see. Bees are balanced. It’s symmetry!”

    The illustrations are fun and colorful, the writing is witty and entertaining… it’s a superb book for children” The trio responsible for this beautiful book are three Canadian women, Kari-Lynn Winters, Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Peggy Collins.

    Combining poetry, art and math… it’s not only fun it is also educational!

    Review by Kristen Ferguson, in Canadian Review of Materials CM Magazine, Volume 21 Number 37 (May 29, 2015), online at

    internal art****/4:

    Find them all.
    Name and compare.
    2-D shapes are everywhere.
    In the wild –
    Hey, why not?
    Triangle tooth and
    Trapezoid spot.

    Math concepts are humourously and colourfully integrated into poetry for children in Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming’s picture book Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On. Numerous math concepts, including symmetry, base ten, geometry, telling time, and measurement, are in this book of short poems. For instance, the concept of counting by 2s is illustrated in the poem “Teacup Pups”. It’s teatime, and the dogs each have a different number of doggie biscuits with their tea. In the poem “Spendosaur”, Spendosaur stomps his way through a candy store buying sweets as readers learn about coins and money. The full-colour cartoonish and zany illustrations by Peggy Collins perfectly match the fun tone of the book.internal art

    Spendosaur, Spendosaur,
    Hear him ROAR
    Thundering down to the candy store.
    He’s got money he wants to spend
    On treats to share with his Spendosaur friend.
    One penny buys a chocolate dipped pickle,
    He orders five and pays with a nickel.

    The math concepts and the poems are best suited for children age 5 to 9. Hungry for Math would be a good selection for home libraries where parents and guardians are looking for something different than traditional stories for their collections. My children were drawn to the book’s vibrant and fun illustrations and wanted me to read the book to them right away. Hungry for Math would also make an excellent read-aloud or shared reading in the classroom setting. Teachers wanting to integrate Language Arts into Mathematics could pick and choose poems in the book as they teach a particular math concept. The poems are fun and catchy and would be excellent to reread several times over a unit of study in Mathematics.

    Highly Recommended.

    Dr. Kristen Ferguson teaches literacy education at the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University in North Bay, ON.

    Review by Helen K, in CanLit for Little Canadians (March 15, 2015), online at

    Teachers and parents will always be clamouring for new and innovative ways to introduce math concepts, and Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On will surely work. But forget the classroom and math instruction, or at least put them aside temporarily, and enjoy the rhyme and reason of the verses within and the varied illustrations of dragons, foxes, clockworks and race cars to add the jauntiness that numbers and operations and such can be.

    You know that between the dramatic flare of Kari-Lynn Winters and the Tickle Trunk Players founder, Lori Sherritt-Fleming, Hungry for Math has that special something to add spice to early math literacy learnings. From unique poems like “The Balanced Bee” with its zen-like insect, the banging of the drum in “Patterns Rock!” and “The Spendosaur” in which a dinosaur goes a little crazy spending his coins in a candy store, the math lessons are neither obvious nor necessary to appreciate the silliness of the rhymes.

    The Balanced Bee

    Three circles, tall not wide.
    Six legs – three per side.
    Two plus two wings, on its back.
    Bands of yellow, white, and black.
    Compound eyes to spy the view.
    Antennae, not one – always two.
    Now fold your paper.
    It’s plain to see.
    Bees are balanced.
    It’s symmetry! (pg. 5)

    Even a poem like “Move Around The Clock,” that borrows from nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock, takes on a unique flair with an active mouse in a dress changing her movements with the time amongst the clockwork gears.

    Whether you want your child to count the five groups of ten fire-breathing creatures in “Rot-TEN Dragons” or the abundance of heart-shaped treats (which look very familiar) shelled out amongst the cats in “That Kitty Counts” is irrelevant. Little ones will want to count the assortment of delectables, determine the banana leaves needed to cover the treasure and learn to skip count in 2s or 5s, especially with Peggy Collins’ fun characters, human and non, to accompany them along the way. Kids won’t even know they’re learning. That adds up to a book full of promise.

    Review, in Sal’s Fiction Addiction (February 25, 2015), online at

    In their second poetic collaboration (following aRHYTHMetic, 2009), Ms. Winters and Ms. Sherritt-Fleming put the emphasis on math and number concepts that include shapes, patterns, counting, symmetry, estimating, and measuring time.

    He was hungry for math,
    always ready to munch.
    Math for his breakfast,
    math for his lunch.

    He’d pig out on pie charts
    and bar graphs galore,
    binge on skip-counting,
    and still ask for more.”

    It’s full of fun with numbers and sure to please both teachers and their students with rousing rhythms and a connection to the math that is a part of everyday life. Patterns in the sounds of music, 2-D shapes seen everywhere we look, fifty rot-TEN dragons hiding in five groups of ten, and the symmetry in the shape of a bee are all incorporated into lively, rhythmic language sure to make enjoyable reading and learning in math class.

    The Balanced Bee

    Three circles, tall not wide.
    Six legs – three per side.
    Two plus two wings, on its back.
    Bands of yellow, white and black.
    Compound eyes to spy the view.
    Antennae, not one – always two.
    Now fold your paper.
    It’s plain to see.
    Bees are balanced.
    It’s symmetry!”

    So, fire up the math and get munching.


    The poem “The Balanced Bee” and original artwork from the book was on display at the University of British Columbia Beaty Museum’s “Backyard Biodiversity” installation, 2014-2015; see more at

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