Book Review: Pairs of People by Jeanne & Mark K. Shriver

In this lively, vibrant, and inspiring follow-up to the Christopher Award-winning book 10 Hidden HeroesNew York Times bestselling author Mark Shriver and his wife Jeanne Shriver help children learn about the power of numbers and how working together can make the world a better place. Pairs of People makes math fun and meaningful by showing how our service to others multiplies when people pitch in together.

The whimsical, rhyming text and colorful artwork from award-winning artist Laura Watson inspire discussion on such topics as friendship, leadership, and camaraderie while illustrating the basic concepts of multiplication.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Smith Publicity. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Pairs of People is about multiplying by 2, and the examples are of people who help others. It starts with one pair of people and goes all the way up to twelve pairs of people. Then it asks what 50 pairs of people could do!

Each pair of pages gives an example in rhyming text of what people can do to help others. At the bottom of the pages, it shows how many people are in that number of pairs (for example, 2 pairs = 4 people) and the math equation representing it as well (2 x 2 = 4). What a great way to teach children about community service and math at the same time!

The illustrations by Laura Watson also add to the overall story with realistic and colorful illustrations about the concepts presented. My grandson is only 2 years old, but he loves being read to, and I know he will enjoy this book for years to come. I can’t wait to share it with him!

About the Authors

Mark K. Shriver is president of Save the Children Action Network in Washington, D.C. Shriver created the Choice Program and is a former Maryland state legislator. His New York Times and Washington Post bestselling memoir, A GOOD MAN: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver, was published in June 2012 and received a 2013 Christopher Award. Shriver lives with his wife, Jeanne, and their three children, Molly, Tommy and Emma, in Maryland.

Jeanne Shriver lives in Bethesda with her husband, Mark. After working for Merrill Lynch and American Express, she left the corporate world after 10 years to raise their three children. She has served on several non-profit and independent school boards and is an active volunteer for several non-profits in her community.

About the Illustrator

As a freelance illustrator working in Toronto, Laura Watson has been creating whimsical illustrations for children’s books, educational materials, magazines and various retail applications since graduating from Sheridan College’s Interpretive Illustration program, in Oakville, Ontario, in 1995. Born and raised in the heart of the lovely Kawartha Lakes region in Peterborough, Ontario, Laura also studied Fine Art at York University and graduated with an Honours degree in Visual Arts. In the past few years, Laura has enjoyed illustrating several trade children’s books (most recently, My Evil Big Brother Packed My Lunch from Chronicle Kids) and countless school publications for subjects as diverse as poetry and math. Laura lives in the leafy Riverdale neighbourhood of Toronto with her husband, 11-year-old daughter, and 3-year-old redbone coonhound / lab rescue dog, and works in a converted backyard garage studio surrounded by a slightly unkempt garden. She enjoys the outdoors, runs often and spends as much time as possible at the beach hunting for sea glass.