Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Dr. Seuss

King Derwin of Didd becomes bored and angry with what falls from the sky—fog, rain, snow, and sunshine. He wants something new and exciting to fall from it, so he calls on his magicians to create it! However, neither the king nor the magicians think about the consequences of the new, sticky, green substance called oobleck, which quickly causes a mess of the kingdom. Bartholomew, the king’s clever page, must then step in and save the day. Dr. Seuss uses his signature style of illustrations, but this time everything is in black and white except for the green oobleck, making it really stand out on each page (and winning the book a Caldecott Honor). Reading this book is a perfect springboard to making your own oobleck and practicing counting and the idea of ratios in the process. The recipe for oobleck is simple: 1 cup of water and 2 cups of cornstarch along with some food coloring if you wish. You can change up the measurements, so long as the ratio remains the same, 1 part water to 2 parts cornstarch. And in this way you can practice counting. If your child is practicing counting to 10, then count out five tablespoons of water and ten tablespoons of cornstarch. And you can even practice doubles facts with your child in this way, once they understand the ratio; if you put six tablespoons of water in, then how many tablespoons of cornstarch will you need?

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