Mind-Boggling Numbers

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
10.9 X 9.3 X 0.3 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Michael J. Rosen has written, edited, or illustrated a veritable kennel of books, including Workman's Kids' Best Dog Book; Artisan's Horse People, Fishing with Dad, and My Bug; and The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties, and Talking Poodles and May Contain Nuts: A Very Loose Canon of American Humor. Many of his anthologies have supported humane efforts through the Company of Animals Fund, which he founded in 1990. He lives with his pack on 100 acres in central Ohio.
Julia Patton is an award-winning author and illustrator who works from a rustic woodshed in the wilds of rural Northumberland, UK. Her work includes The Very Very Very Long Dog and Snail Mail.


"Ms. Mary Math, 'the go-to wiz for mind-boggling math questions, ' answers questions related to volume, distance, weight, and other topics, framed as letters from curious kids. A Florida letter-writer, 'Grounded in Groveland, ' asks how long it would take to send a birthday card to everyone on the planet; the answer, after some quick multiplication, is 222 years. The off-kilter scenarios proposed, which are entertainingly captured in Patton's quirky cartoon graphics, and the off-the-cuff tone Rosen adopts for the answers keep these unconventional story problems from ever feeling like homework. 'That's a sweet thought, ' says Ms. Mary of the birthday card question. 'One problem: your task's impossible.'"--Publishers Weekly


"Factoids, math, and silly stories combine in this epistolary-style offering. Each of the 12 spreads depicts a 'story problem' in the form of an imaginary child's letter to Ms. Mary Math. Her response answers the question and gives additional fun facts, while on the opposite page is a whimsical illustration of the subject at hand. The pictures serve more as zany, slightly chaotic imaginings of the story problems rather than functional diagrams. Exaggerated, cartoonish images feature mathematical references and children. Ms. Mary Math's letters do describe how she solves the problems but are richer in exclamation points and comparisons to familiar objects (the volume of a milk carton, the height of the Statue of Liberty, etc.) than in step-by-step guidance. Equations and mathematical processes are mostly confined to the 'Do the Math' section in the back matter, which also includes metric conversions; definitions for area, speed, and volume; and further resources. Consider pairing this title with delightful math storybooks like Andrea Menotti's How Many Jelly Beans? or Jon Scieszka's Math Curse, or with Laura Overdeck's 'Bedtime Math' series for fun word problems that kids can solve themselves. VERDICT: Amusing but not essential, this book may work best in the hands of enthusiastic parents, educators, or XKCD fans who wish to inculcate a love of numbers in the next generation."--School Library Journal