Cover image for This plus that : life's little equations
This plus that : life's little equations
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperCollins Children's Books, c2011.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
Simple arithmetical equations show how big and small moments add up in life.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY ROS 1 1
Book EASY ROS 1 1
Book EASY ROS 1 2
Book EASY ROS 0 1
Book EASY ROS 1 1

On Order



From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of I Wish You More, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a delightful book of fanciful equations.

Whether it's "wishes + frosting = birthday" or "birds + buds = spring," each equation is a small delight. This Plus That proves that life's total experience is always greater than the sum of its parts.

This book can be used to introduce equations or even some basic life lessons. Its warm and amusing tone invites readers to come up with their own life equations, and it makes a creative gift.

Author Notes

Amy Krouse Rosenthal was born in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Tufts University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked in advertising for several years. She wrote both children's and adult books. Her children's books included Little Pea, Little Hoot, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, Duck! Rabbit!, Spoon, The OK Book, Plant a Kiss, I Wish You More, That's Me Loving You, Exclamation Mark!, and Uni the Unicorn. She also wrote a picture book with her daughter Paris entitled Dear Girl. Her books for adults include Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Her short films include The Beckoning of Lovely, The Money Tree, The Kindness Thought Bubble, and Life Is a Marathon. Her essays and articles appeared in The New York Times, Hallmark Magazine, Parenting, O: The Oprah Magazine, and McSweeney's. She was also the host of the radio show Writers' Block Party on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She died of ovarian cancer on March 13, 2017 at the age of 51.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-Rosenthal's concept is a good one, but it doesn't translate well as a picture book. The author has created a hit-or-miss selection of "life's little equations," such as "laughter plus keeping secrets plus sharing equals best friend" and "barefoot plus screen door plus popsicles equal summer." Some of them work, but others are a stretch. Equations like "small plus bottle equals baby" and "leaves plus hot soup equal fall" may not make a lot of sense to young minds that process information in literal terms. The randomness of the selections and the tenuous connection between some of the variables are problematic. However, the illustrations are bright and cheerful and provide clues to help make the equations comprehensible. The book might function as a conversation starter between an adult and child, and Corace's images are enjoyable to peruse, but children aren't likely to gravitate to this head-scratcher by themselves.-Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rosenthal continues her run of inspired ideas with another collaboration with Corace (Little Pea). Here, in an exercise calculated to delight, she ditches the boring numbers in math equations for words. Two pigtailed girls squabble, then reason with each other. The outcome is a simple sum: "yes plus no equals maybe." The same two girls gossip through a tin-can telephone: "laughter plus keeping secrets plus sharing equals best friend." Witty observations-"anything plus sprinkles equal better"-alternate with improving messages as well as nods to the seasons, arts, and kid-friendly activities. "Mumbling plus toe staring ? polite" accompanies the awkward introduction of one of the pigtailed girls to the other's mother; on the next page, with "handshake plus 'how are you' equals polite," the girl does better. Corace's stylized pen and ink vignettes show a world that's safe and secure; the same family members appear throughout ("tall plus coffee equals grown-up"), and the activities give evidence of cherished routines ("cozy plus smell of pancakes - alarm clock equals weekend"). It's the kind of math that children won't have any trouble comprehending. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A series of simple equations and companion illustrations sum up various childhood experiences ("barefoot + screen door + popsicles = summer") and life lessons ("blaming + eye rolling does not = sincere apology"). The equation/art pairings serve, in effect, as mini-vignettes, and are thoughtful and well chosen. Corace's illustrations have a (mostly) retro vibe that works well with Rosenthal's arithmetical musings. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

You don't have to be a math whiz to enjoy these equations that explore many aspects of a child's daily life with surprising results, depending on what's added, subtracted or divided.One plus one does not equal two; rather, "1 + 1 = us" as two little girls hug to become "us." Colors blend together on the page to show how "red + blue = purple," "blue + yellow = green" and "yellow + red = orange," while droplets of each color cascade down the page to prove that all colors added together equal a rainbow. Altering a component triggers different results. A "smile + wave = hello," but a "smile + ocean wave = beach." "Chalk + sitting = school," but "chalk + jumping = hopscotch." The minimalist text, presented in the form of equations, and the simple, light-hearted watercolor, pen and ink illustrations, featuring the same children throughout, function symbiotically. The opaque equation "(snow + carrot) + rosy cheeks = winter" makes plenty of sense with its illustration of a child bundled in a snowsuit taking a bite out of a snowman's carrot nose. Surprising in their variety, the equations range from the sublime ("soul + color = art") to the ridiculous ("balloon + wind = lost").Clever premise + artful execution = sure winner. (Picture book. 4-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* If Rosenthal's Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons (2006) is a picture-book dictionary, her latest book is a picture-book introduction to mathematical equations. And both are equally notable for their insight, humanity, and wit. From the simple ( 1 plus 1 equals us ) to the subtle ( blaming plus eye rolling ? sincere apology paired with I'm sorry' plus hug equals sincere apology ) to the evocative ( barefoot plus screen door plus popsicles equals summer ), Rosenthal creatively uses the symbols of math as a succinct way of stating conceptual rather than numeric relationships. As wonderful as these text equations are, they're twice as effective with the accompanying pictures, such as the scene of a child asleep beneath a cheerful quilt, illustrating cozy plus smell of pancakes - alarm clock equals weekend. The illustrator of Rosenthal's Little Pea (2005), Little Hoot (2008), and Little Oink (2009), Corace creates clean, spare artwork here using precisely drawn black lines, washes of distinctive colors, and plenty of white space. Teachers could use the book, perhaps paired with Betsy Franco's picture book Mathematickles! (2003), to introduce math equations or to inspire students to create their own verbal equations. But first, just read this unusual book aloud and let it work its magic.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist