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This is the cover of the picture book The Great Graph Contest by Loreen Leedy.

Book Review: The Great Graph Contest

Is there an elementary school teacher on your holiday shopping list? If so, check out Loreen Leedy’s The Great Graph Contest!

This picture book features Gonk (a toad) and Beezy (a lizard) as they compete to create the best* graphs of their garden home. Over the course of the book, the friends collect observational and interview data and then create 11 different examples of graphs, including unit charts, bar graphs, Venn diagrams, and pie charts:

This is a bar graph. The title says What do shoppers plan to do with their new flower? The y (vertical) axis represents number of shoppers and runs from 0 to 5. The x (horizontal) axis has three categories: plant it, give it away, and eat it. There is a stack of four green flowers representing plant it, three blue flowers representing give it away, and two yellow flowers representing eat it.  The is a Venn diagram. The title is Where My Friends Live. One circle is labeled land, and inside that circle are drawings of a snake, turtle, and lizard. A second circle is labeled water, and inside it are drawings of a fish clam. In the overlapping space between the two circles are drawings of a duck and a frog, and the overlap is labeled both.  This is a pie chart. The center of the chart is labeled What color is most common? There are 12 pie wedges, each with a butterfly drawn on it. Three of the wedges are orange; two wedges each are green, yellow, pink, and blue; 1 wedge is purple.

I think this book would be awesome inspiration for young students about to undertake a graphing project. The featured graphs are really creative, and all of them would be fairly simple to recreate using basic art materials.

Who won the Great Graph Contest? I won’t spoil the ending…but, personally, I think everyone’s a winner when we combine data and art! :)

*Chester, the snail judging the contest, defines quality as being mathematically correct, creative, and neat. Smart snail!

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