Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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***Math Appeal

by Greg Tang

illustrated by Harry Briggs

Reviewed June 17, 2003.
Scholastic Press, New York, 2003.  40 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 510 TAN).

Here’s another creative math book for kids.  I like the introduction:  “What’s the best way to foster a love for learning?  When we teach children to read, we share colorful picture books filled with exciting stories.  When we teach science, we conduct lively, hands-on experiments that inspire curiosity and wonder.  But what about math -- is it possible to make math just as engaging and appealing to kids?  The answer is yes!”

Unlike The Best of Times, this book is not a set of strategies to learn multiplication.  Instead, it’s a series of puzzles, showing creative, quick ways of counting.  (You may need to look at the answer key at the back to get the idea.)  I think it works a little better with kids who already know how to multiply, and he gives the age range as 7 to 10.  Basically, the puzzles show how multiplying makes counting quicker.  (Though he presents it as repeated addition, so it still works for kids who don’t multiply yet.)

The poems give little clues to set you on the right track.  They might sound a bit young for the age group, but they work, since the math puzzles are interesting.  This is a fun way to learn about arithmetic and problem-solving.  I hope Greg Tang’s books keep coming!

Other books by Greg Tang:
The Best of Times

Math Potatoes

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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