Ant is thrilled. She has received an invitation to dinner with the king. Since this is the first time she has been so honored, Ant wants to make a good impression. She arrives on time, and is careful to use her best table manners. However, the same cannot be said of the other guests. They grab the food, talk with their mouths full, and generally act horribly. When, at the end of the meal, the king serves cake, he courteously tells the elephant to help himself. The greedy guest takes half and passes it to his neighbor, who takes half of what remains, and so on until it is Ant's turn. Unfortunately, there is only a tiny piece remaining to divide with the king! When the sliver crumbles as the hapless Ant attempts to cut it, she is mortified. Amid complaints from the others about her selfishness when they all shared, she offers to bake the king a special cake the next day. Not to be outdone, each guest promises to bake twice as many as the previous one, until a would-be baker comes up with the total of 256 peanut-butter pound cakes. As the other animals' attempts to bake end in disaster, Ant brings her cake to the King, who happily shares it with her. This deliciously funny story is a delightful way to introduce the concepts of halving and multiplication by 2, with the added bonus of a lesson in sharing and manners thrown in. McElligott's hilarious ink and watercolor illustrations clearly demonstrate the math and comically portray the antics and expressions of the king's guests. The scene in which all the animals are unsuccessfully endeavoring to fulfill their cake-baking promises is priceless. Kids will have so much fun listening to and reading this story they may not realize they are learning something. 32 pages. Ages 4-8 Recommended by Basya Karp, Librarian New York USA
The Lion's Share: A Tale of Halving Cake and Eating It Too!