Math Appeal: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles

Math Appeal: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles

by Gregory Tang, Greg Tang, Harry Briggs
     
 

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NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Greg Tang challenges kids to solve problems creatively in this follow-up to MATH FOR ALL SEASONS.

In this book you'll learn to see
How very clever you can be.
We'll teach you tricks to help you add,
Some day in math class you'll be glad!

In this follow-up to MATH FOR ALL SEASONS, Greg Tang underscores the importance

Overview


NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Greg Tang challenges kids to solve problems creatively in this follow-up to MATH FOR ALL SEASONS.

In this book you'll learn to see
How very clever you can be.
We'll teach you tricks to help you add,
Some day in math class you'll be glad!

In this follow-up to MATH FOR ALL SEASONS, Greg Tang underscores the importance of four basic rules in problem-solving. Keeping an open mind, looking for unusual number combinations, using multiple skills (like subtracting to add) and looking for patterns will guarantee any child success in math. In MATH APPEAL, Tang continues to challenge kids with his innovative approach to math.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Bright, whimsical illustrations and clever rhymes introduce challenging exercises. The verses are not particularly memorable, but they present the problems-how squares on a kite can be added quickly or peas in a pod grouped-with hints for their solutions. "My kite flies high, my kite flies free,/My kite just landed in a tree!/I was busy counting squares,/Now my kite is stuck up there./How many squares? Let me see,/It's best to add diagonally!" Teaching guides appear at the back of the book, and not all of the strategies for problem solving are obvious. In a note, Tang states that his goal is "to encourage clever, creative thinking," and the questions posed do that. This book will engage readers' visual and auditory senses and may be enjoyed one-on-one or in classroom settings.--School Library Journal, February 2003

The team behind the series of Mind-Stretching Math Riddles, which began with The Grapes of Math, continues with Math Appeal by Greg Tang, illus. by Harry Griggs. Each riddle presents a problem (e.g., "Boston Pea Party" posits: "A pea would find it rather odd,/ To be alone inside a pod./ They like to hang out with their friends,/ For them the party never ends!/ Can you count up all the peas?/ With 11's it's a breeze!") and suggests a way to solve it. Griggs's illustrations prompt readers to look for symmetries and patterns.--Publishers Weekly, Januar 20, 2003

Discovering patterns in groups of objects to discover their total number is Tang's forte, and here he is as engaging as ever, even when his examples don't necessarily make intuitive-or, for that matter, common-sense. Each two-page spread provides the reader with a dazzlingly colored image of a number of objects-honeycomb cells, jalape-o peppers, ladybug spots-and a little rhyming ditty that sets the scene and provides a hint on how to solve the addition problem. Most often the reader is asked to discern some pattern to make the sum more manageable or how to use subtraction to make finding the sum easier, as when adding rows of starfish with gaps in their ranks: "How many starfish are in view? / This is all you have to do. / Instead of counting one by one, / Just subtract and you'll be done." (An answers and explanations page is included.) Tang's counterintuitive examples are less successful, as in counting raindrops in a rainbow by counting them within the arc of each color group rather than in the more obvious, and simpler, straight lines passing through the arc. Nonetheless, it is another take on how to get the job done-it's all in the seeing. Best of all, Tang makes play out of math and the problem-solving riddles keep math-suspicious minds from wandering and maybe even from clogging.--Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002

Greg Tang, children's math guru and author of such bestsellers as The Grapes of Math, delivers more "mind-stretching math riddles" to help make arithmetic as easy as "pi." Using his winning method of ultra-creative tips for kids, Tang combines simple clue-giving rhymes with Harry Briggs's eye-catching illustrations to teach how spotting patterns makes adding simple. From "Square Deal," which lets readers quickly add up diagonally arranged squares, to "Rude A-Rake-Ning," helping them count clams by grouping them into patterns, these breezy math lessons are painless and fun. Complete with an introductory note from the author and a detailed answer key in back, Math Appeal has the formula that's sure to have kids -- believe it or not -- charged up to try out their new math skills.
Publishers Weekly
The team behind the series of Mind-Stretching Math Riddles, which began with The Grapes of Math, continues with Math Appeal by Greg Tang, illus. by Harry Griggs. Each riddle presents a problem (e.g., "Boston Pea Party" posits: "A pea would find it rather odd,/ To be alone inside a pod./ They like to hang out with their friends,/ For them the party never ends!/ Can you count up all the peas?/ With 11's it's a breeze!") and suggests a way to solve it. Griggs's illustrations prompt readers to look for symmetries and patterns.
Children's Literature
Greg Tang is developing a kind of one-man industry, producing books with rhymed counting problems like "It's roll call at the local bog/ Can you count each friendly frog?/ Some are sitting—calm and pleasant,/ Some are swimming—they're not present./ Here's a tip to help you add/ Don't ignore the lily pad!" Opposite the verse is a picture of 25 lily pads in rows of five each, some of which are occupied by frogs. According to the author the trick to counting the frogs is to count all the lily pads and subtract the number of missing frogs. While it is not clear this strategy saves time unless the child already knows how to multiply, it is a strategy, and children will benefit from realizing that there are lots of ways to solve a particular problem. The main trouble is that Tang's books are so similar that while any one of them is worth having, it is not clear why anyone should bother with more than one or two. The rhymes are pleasant and the material is well organized, but the real charm of the book lies in illustrations that range from lizards doing the Mexican Hat Dance to the music of guitar-playing cacti to the extraordinary Elvis-impersonating bug on the cover. 2003, Scholastic,
— Michael Chabin
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Bright, whimsical illustrations and clever rhymes introduce challenging exercises. The verses are not particularly memorable, but they present the problems-how squares on a kite can be added quickly or peas in a pod grouped-with hints for their solutions. "My kite flies high, my kite flies free,/My kite just landed in a tree!/I was busy counting squares,/Now my kite is stuck up there./How many squares? Let me see,/It's best to add diagonally!" Teaching guides appear at the back of the book, and not all of the strategies for problem solving are obvious. In a note, Tang states that his goal is "to encourage clever, creative thinking," and the questions posed do that. This book will engage readers' visual and auditory senses and may be enjoyed one-on-one or in classroom settings.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Discovering patterns in groups of objects to discover their total number is Tang's forte, and here he is as engaging as ever, even when his examples don't necessarily make intuitive-or, for that matter, common-sense. Each two-page spread provides the reader with a dazzlingly colored image of a number of objects-honeycomb cells, jalape-o peppers, ladybug spots-and a little rhyming ditty that sets the scene and provides a hint on how to solve the addition problem. Most often the reader is asked to discern some pattern to make the sum more manageable or how to use subtraction to make finding the sum easier, as when adding rows of starfish with gaps in their ranks: "How many starfish are in view? / This is all you have to do. / Instead of counting one by one, / Just subtract and you'll be done." (An answers and explanations page is included.) Tang's counterintuitive examples are less successful, as in counting raindrops in a rainbow by counting them within the arc of each color group rather than in the more obvious, and simpler, straight lines passing through the arc. Nonetheless, it is another take on how to get the job done-it's all in the seeing. Best of all, Tang makes play out of math and the problem-solving riddles keep math-suspicious minds from wandering and maybe even from clogging. (Picture book. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439210461
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/2003
Series:
Mind-Stretching Math Riddles Series
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
416,387
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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