Usha and the Big Digger by Amitha Jagannath Knight, illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat, is a picture book in the Storytelling Math Series by Charlesbridge Publishing.
In this story, sisters Usha & Aarti look at the night sky, but each sees something different. Usha sees a big digger; whereas, Aarti sees a big dipper. And more confusing to Usha is when her cousin Gloria arrives, she sees a kite! How can that be? Readers make discoveries about position and spatial relationships as well as learn about constellations and culture.
As a teacher, I really like this math series. The Charlesbridge website says “…all children can be mathematical thinkers.” And these books showcase children of color doing every day math in fun ways. Back matter for the parent or teacher includes extension activities and the math concept.
My school is a Leader in Me School, and so when I read this, it fit in perfectly with Habit 5 which states, “Think first to understand, then to be understood.” My kindergartners picked up on how the main character Usha wouldn’t listen to her sister or cousin but insisted that her viewpoint of the stars was correct.
This was a great book to demonstrate the Leader in Me habit, plus to introduce them to space science and position.