Math Curse

by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, published 1995

“Mrs. Fibonacci has obviously put a math curse on me. Everything I look at or think about has become a math problem.”

Children's book - math curseThis illustrated children’s book is wildly laid out, almost yelling at the reader. But it grabs the attention of any young person, as there is so much to see in each page. And the content is purely comical. It has silly ways to describe math problems, but they are intriguing nonetheless. For example, “If mail + box = mailbox, does lipstick-stick = lip?” The whole children’s book is done tongue-in-cheek, to play with concepts, and not necessarily to come up with right answers.** Why read it, then? Some of the math content relates to logic problems, and those are always fun to chew on. The book also makes the point that math is everywhere, and in that way, it serves the purpose of perhaps removing math fear at an early age.

Bottom line is that this is simple a fun children’s book, by an author who usually writes humor for older kids. If there’s a child in your life who enjoys math puzzles, perhaps they would enjoy this momentary diversion into the silliness of logic. More likely, I think this is a great book for a school or classroom library, for 2nd or 3rd grade.

** OH, DUH! Just as I wrote this review, I noticed that the back cover has the answers to all the math problems inside. Hopefully some of the young readers will notice it sooner than I did!

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