Again, Essie?

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Pub Date 03 May 2022 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2022

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Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling!

Rafael wants to protect his toys from his little sister, Essie. Gathering materials from around the house, he builds a wall tall enough and wide enough to keep her out. But will it be strong enough? And what does Essie really want? A playful exploration of physical space and geometry, featuring Chicanx (Mexican American) characters and a glossary of Spanish words.

Storytelling Math celebrates children using math in their daily adventures as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Joyful stories and hands-on activities make it easy for kids and their grown-ups to explore everyday math together. Developed in collaboration with math experts at STEM education nonprofit TERC, under a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.
Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling!

Rafael wants to protect his toys from his little sister, Essie. Gathering materials from around the house, he builds a wall tall enough and...

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ISBN 9781623542054
PRICE $15.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 35 members

Featured Reviews

A diverse story about learning patience with younger siblings. This story incorporates math through the use of measurements. The main character tries to build a wall to keep his baby sister away from his toys. In the end, he realizes that she only wants to play with him. I love the Spanish words added throughout with definitions at the end. With the population of US Spanish speakers rising, this can be a valuable tool for children of all backgrounds.

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This is a cute bilingual story about a brother and sister. It resonates with me as I have 2 children and the younger one always wants to be involved with what the older one is doing. Much like the little girl in the story he comes through like a wrecking ball and big sister is always building walls and towers for him to destroy. I liked that the brother and sister came together to play in the end. I appreciated that there was an educational element at the end in translating the Spanish words into English. Great read!

Thank you to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for access to this ARC!

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A cute picture book about an older brother using math skills to keep his younger sister from trampling through his toys by designing barricades. Also incorporates Spanish words with a glossary at the end.

Thank you to netgalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for honest feedback. I thought the illustrations were cute, the storyline was sweet (reminded me of something that would occur during lockdown for example), and I particularly liked the details like the dad working online from home + the "amazing" like Amazon boxes. Makes it even more realistic. The sibling interactions are cute as well. It was interesting how language is used for this book, but even more importantly, there will be some sort of mathematic aspect to it "to come". I wonder how this will factor in. As it stands, it's a fine book for a young reader.

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Rafael’s young sister, Essie, is always interrupting his time and destroying his toys. During Essie’s nap time (referred to as “siesta” in the book), Rafael collects boxes and objects from throughout the house to build a wall to keep Essie out and protect his toys. But he soon discovers that building a wall isn’t as easy as he thought and will require some geometry and shape skills.

Because this book’s purpose is to introduce mathematical principles, I’m giving this book a rating of 4.5 stars. It’s a diverse book and has cute illustration. I really liked the Spanish words interjected throughout the book as well as the glossary of Spanish vocabulary at the end. There’s also a good message for children on the subject of sibling interactions. Apparently there will be an “Exploring the Math” portion at the end of the book closer to the book’s publication. It’ll be interesting to see the activities included there. Great book and fabulous work done by the author and illustrator.

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This book has so much going for it. An Own Voices picture book by an author and illustrator who are both Latina, AND it incorporates STEM!

The illustrations are adorable. The kids have brown skin and big, expressive eyes. Rafael, the main character beseiged by a toddler sibling, also has a big fluffy cat for company.

The story is about Rafael searching his house for items to build a structurally solid wall in his room. He grabs items from family members around the home, testing them for size and fit. Lacika incorporates some Spanish words into the text, and they are easy to decipher based on context clues if you don't speak the language, but there's also a Glossary at the end.

This is a very cute story that any kid with a younger sibling will appreciate!

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Light, refreshing and well paced. This book ties family, latin culture and language and a engineering feat together in a way that bring a smile to the reader. These are the kind of books I wish I had growing up. It isn’t a forced gimmick for the main character to be Latino, he just is.

As an educator I appreciated the spacial reasoning and attention to shape and dimension. I could see some fun enrichment activities coming from this book.

My only critique isn’t really a criticism, I’d just like to see a little more Spanish or a conversation between the boy and a parent. It’s easy and appreciated to weave in a few words but I’d love to see an interaction that highlights the love of Spanish.

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Rafael is a sweet Latino boy who loves his toys and playtime. His baby sister Essie always seems to be destroying and disrupting those peaceful times and he's had enough. While Essie is taking her nap Rafael gathers objects from around the house and constructs a wall in his bedroom to play behind sans Essie. He works hard at measuring and configuring shapes and sizes to make the wall secure. Will his ingenious plan work? Has he calculated a barrier that is wide, tall and strong enough to keep the little intruder at bay?

Rafael finally discovers that his rambunctious little sister doesn't really want to wreck his toys and playtime but her motives are much more endearing.

This book introduces mathematical principals and I love the Spanish words that the author has embedded throughout the story. He has included a glossary at the end of the Spanish vocabulary used. The relatable illustrations are very well done with lots of emotions and action. I highly recommend this book.

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Again, Essie is part of the Story Telling Math series of book which features children using real world math in their daily lives. This story features Rafael who is trying to keep his toddler sister Essie from getting to his toys and making a mess. Rafael devises a plan to construct a wall out of objects found around the house. He has to position each item correctly so that he make the perfect barrier. This involves him to use his problem solving skills and trial and error to fit each piece together.
This book also has Spanish and English vocabulary for some terms. There is a math notes section to provide additional information concerning the mathematics involved in the story. This is perfect for an elementary level teacher to show that people use math in real life and to help demonstrate diversity in the classroom.

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Fun, bright, and educational, this is one of those books that children will want to read again and again.

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So cute! Great for kids with little siblings. By the end, instead of just getting angry, the big brother learns that his little sister only wanted to play with him.

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Rafael loves his toys and tries his best to keep them safe. But his younger sister Essie always finds the hidden loot and crashes around them. In desperation Rafael decides to build ‘un muro’ – a wall. He finds the perfect location for his new wall, and now has to figure out how to build it. Thus begins a treasure hunt of various cardboard boxes and other things from around the house that could help him. But will this unsteady cardboard wall protect his toys from Essie?

This is a nice and cute story. I loved the moral that shows how Rafael got his sister’s intent completely wrong, and that she wasn’t bent on destroying his toys but only wanted to play with him. I would have loved a bit more of Essie. She seems like a perfectly loveable and naughty little imp!

The book is promoted as having STEM content, with the way spatial skills are involved in Rafael’s arrangement of the household paraphernalia into a steady wall. But I didn’t find the STEM content that strong in this story. It touches upon spatial geometry to some extent with its focus on height and width and item arrangement. But it could have been so much more; this topic was underutilised.

The illustrations are excellent and by far, the best part of the book. The characters and the colours both stand out with their vibrancy. Essie is especially adorable! I must say, the characters are supposed to be Chicanx (Mexican American), but I wouldn’t have guessed this if I hadn’t known this from the blurb.

The language of the book is quite simple and will easily match with early reader levels. But I didn’t understand the purpose of having a few Spanish words in the text. There’s not much of it, and I understand how bilingual people tend to speak in multiple languages at once. (Heck, I’m from India. Some of my verbal content includes 4 languages at once!) But does this work well in an early reader book? I’m not sure. Of course, there’s a glossary at the end, but that’s not the point. Maybe the story could have been written in both languages – Spanish and English, thus catering to a wider audience without any difficulties in comprehension. Throwing in a few Spanish words in a predominantly English narrative isn’t the best way of getting familiar with Spanish or with the idea of bilingual speakers.

There’s supposedly a Math note and activities at the end of the book. As this was missing in my ARC, I can’t comment on its efficacy. But I’m sure it would be a helpful addition to this book.

Overall, the book was good but it lacked a certain something to take it to exceptional. The story and moral are cute, the illustrations are fabulous, but the learning part is limited. If you pick it up as a fun book for kids, you will be more satisfied with it.

3.5 stars, rounding up to 4.

My thanks to Charlesbridge and NetGalley for the ARC of “Again, Essie?”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

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I received an electronic ARC from Charlesbridge through NetGalley.
I love how Lacika weaves geometry into a story about an older sibling trying to protect his toys from his baby sister. Essie wants to play with Rafael's toys and constantly gets them no matter what Rafael does. He works to construct a wall. Readers see his trial and error to make the pieces fit together. Great example of math in the real world. Readers also see words in two languages - Spanish and English. Love also weaves through as we see Essie adore her older brother, and Rafael seek a space but not complete separation from his little sister.

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Loved this! Can’t wait to read this with my preschoolers next year once I can buy the physical book! My children are going to love this book as they love those laugh out loud moments.

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Another adorable book! Really loved the illustrations and story progression! Highly recommend to anyone!

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Again, Essie? is a highly relatable book with charming pictures and events, and a wonderful message about being flexible and finding new ways to look at situations. I especially loved that the family was Mexican American and not only did the boy pepper his language with Spanish phrases and vocabulary, but the author included a glossary at the end.

The illustrations were wonderful and helped tell the story. I loved the father, who had virtually no dialogue, but everytime an item of his came up missing would yell out "oy!" or some other exclamation. It was very silly and fun. I especially loved the authentic portrayal of a family who loves each other and a big brother who is willing to learn.

I highly recommend this book!

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Anyone who has ever taught a preschooler, parented a preschooler, or been a sibling to a preschooler will appreciate this book -- as well as every preschooler who has had this same battle with friends and younger siblings! In this book, Rafael's sister knocks down his constructions again and again and again, so he works hard to build a wall to keep her out. There's hidden math here as Rafael explores size and measurement, but there's also so much fun and anticipation! The illustrations capture both Rafael's thought process and the wild joy of Essie. This is definitely a must buy!

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First of all, thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC inexchange for an honest review.

I love the illustrations. Excellent. The language is quite simple and suits for early reader levels. There are few Spanish words that we can learn.

Lacika is truely story teller. This is a story about an older sibling, Rafael trying to protect his toys from his sister, Essie using his own creativity. But Essie is just Essie. She is full of an energy all day long. The geometry and shape skills are fun to learn!

Again, Essie? by Jenny Lacika will be out on May 3rd 2022. Check it out!

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These story telling math books are great. Rafael uses creativity and problem solving skills to create a wall. He uses items from around the house. Has a sweet theme too.

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This was a cute story about a boy trying to avoid his younger sister, but they end up having a special moment together. Very lovely story with a bit of Spanish mixed in. Nice, vibrant illustrations too!

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This is a cute story. I do appreciate the problem solving rafael does rather than giving up he keep trying to make his items work. I also like rather than keeping his sister essie out he decides to give her a chance. If you can’t beat them, join them!

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This is a cute installment! I love that the main character needs to try different things, learning growth mindset to solve a problem using household tools. It's a fantastic experiment because it is easy for kids to replicate at home.

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This is an adorable story about siblings while being a fun exploration of physical space, geometry and culture. Rafael is a big brother who wants to protect his toys from his little sister, Essie. He collects materials from around the house and constructs a wall with the help of geometry. With a sweet twist this story becomes about the fun siblings can have playing together. The illustrations are charming and the mix of English and Spanish words throughout makes this a story not to miss.

Special thanks to Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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A good read for children about translation in the means of geometry. Contains Spanish without making the Spanish italic.

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This is the story of a boy and his little sister who loves to knock over all of his toys. He decides to build a wall out of boxes he finds around the house to try to stop her from getting to his toys. As he builds the wall readers can see his thought process about 3D shapes and consider non-standard measurement (measurement that does not use the metric or imperial system, but rather objects or reference points) to determine the placement of each box as well as how much distance in both width and height he needs to fill based on the size of his cat who is a similar height and width as his sister. I could definitely see using this book in a preschool or k-2 classroom as a jumping off point for inquiry, STEM, project based learning lesson. It also demonstrates math in everyday life as well as the importance of trying a variety of strategies until you find one that works!

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this excellent book! I look forward to buying a copy for my classroom library in the future!

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This was super cute! It's a great way to introduce kids to math, spanish, and communication! I'm not a very mathematically competent person, so I personally would not have enjoyed this as a kid. However, STEM books have gotten so popular that I know this will find it's niche! It would be great for a storytime (especially one with a bilingual story teller who can go through the spanish words).

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A cute multilingual picture book with a mix of family And problem solving themes.
Raul wants his space so he builds a wall using different shapes boxes to fill in the gaps. But soon realised that knocking the wall down and playing with his younger sister is much more fun!

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A fun, brief, colorful story about a Chicanx little boy who desperately needs to build a wall to hide his toys and keep away his toddler sister, Essie. He uses everything, from tissue boxes and shoe boxes to foam cooler and file bins. The Spanish words peppered throughout the book are easy to understand for any non-Spanish speaker.

Thank you, NetGalley and Charlesbridge, for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Amazing story that shows the relationship between siblings, some math concepts, as well as a few words in Spanish. The illustrations are bright and colorful and well drawn. I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book.

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This was a really cute book about an older brother who is trying to protect his toys from a mysterious little sister. I think this is a book older sibling if any age can relate to! Rafael tries and tries to build something that keeps his little sister out, when he finally realizes she just want to play with him! My three year old loved it and thought it was so funny every time Essie knocked something down.

Thank you Charlesbridge for a digital copy of this book! This book is due for publication 5/3/22.

💙 Mommy (@that.bookmom) and Ronan (@thatbookkid) approved ✅

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This will be a very fun and relatable story for young kids! Toddler Essie is cute but a force of destruction and her brother needs to protect his toys. He has the brainstorm to build a wall and works creatively to find supplies and figure out the best method of construction. But will his efforts pay off?

The illustrations are wonderfully engaging and full of little humorous details. Kids will recognize the problem of trying to keep possessions safe from siblings and will be invested in the outcome. This would be a great circle-time read for preschool or pre-K!

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!

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