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Mathematickles! by Betsy Franco

I picked this up from the Bookcloseouts sale, and I had hesitated to buy it because I thought it was an other math riddle book which I already own quite a few of. But it turns out to be a very unusual book. If you go to the Amazon link, you can look inside the book to see the format.

What it does is mix language with mathematical concepts, symbols and vocubulary to produce some really interesting connections. They start quite easy - simple addition and subtraction - for example:

     pumpkin - seeds + face = jack-o'-lantern

But it also introduces multiplication and division:

     Pumpkin patch

     x sunlight

     -------------

     oooooooorange!

and:

     leaves

     _________

     wind | autumn

All with bright illustrations. Later "division" problems include remainders that are very cleverly thought out.

As the book progresses, fractions, graphs and more complex language "equations" emerge:

tadpole = 2/3 frog

There are graphs of natural phenomenon, etc. What a delightful book.

The way I read it to my 5 and 7 y/olds was in the form of q&a - I'd read "rocks times waves equals" and they would guess (5 y/old guessed "splashes" which was a great guess, the book's answer is sand). My 9 y/old was just as intrigued by it as my younger kids, and understood the more complex notation that they would not. As such, it is unusual in it's wide age range applicability.

This isn't a poetry book, I think that name on the title makes no sense, but then, I guess they would have had a hard time saying what it was. I have seen nothing like it. It's really like the math diagramming I did with my kids, only it isn't stories, just ideas or vignettes.

Review of Mathematickles! by Betsy Franco