by Lauren Thomson, published 2001
“Aziza learned all there was to know. But her favorite subject was numbers. And her favorite game was riddles.”
If you absolutely hate princesses and happily ever after, I suppose you could skip this children’s book. But if you can forgive that, and focus on the idea of math and riddles, this is a sweet little story, to help inspire young girls to love math. As a female mathematician myself, I love the idea that at an early age, young girls could be inspired to love math. And loving math doesn’t preclude happy relationships either. I think a children’s book like this is meant to take us out of arguing about what is politically correct and just enjoy the little math problem.
I have long demurred on including illustrated books on this website, simply because the number of them is infinite. However, I am encouraged to include an illustrated book when it leans towards non-fiction, such as this one, or biographies, such as the recent biography of Fibonacci that I reviewed. The illustrations are suitably inspiring.
In any case, this is a simple and enjoyable way to present numbers and riddles to young children who are already showing signs up interest in numbers. Good for six to eight.