Math Attack!

Overview

Each time her teacher asks, “What’s seven times ten?” a young girl experiences a severe case of arithmetic strain. “Numbers flew out of my head by the score. They stuck to the ceiling; they bounced off the floor!” Soon, exploding numbers are taking over her classroom, her school – then the entire town!

Ebullient verse and ingenious collage illustrations full of hilarious escalating antics make this kid-centric romp through the dreaded times ...

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Overview

Each time her teacher asks, “What’s seven times ten?” a young girl experiences a severe case of arithmetic strain. “Numbers flew out of my head by the score. They stuck to the ceiling; they bounced off the floor!” Soon, exploding numbers are taking over her classroom, her school – then the entire town!

Ebullient verse and ingenious collage illustrations full of hilarious escalating antics make this kid-centric romp through the dreaded times tables a read-aloud gem. Clever endpapers feature a multiplication table.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Author Joan Horton’s rhyming narrative sets a hilariously hyperbolic scene . . . . An ingenious riff on the rigors of multiplication, the text gains even more energy from Kyrsten Brooker’s dynamic oil paint and collage illustrations.” —Family Fun Magazine

“The high-energy artwork will entertain.” —Publishers Weekly

“The rhyming text is well cadenced, with carefully chosen words that flow easily. Rich paint and collage illustrations combine textures and colors with numbers spilling over the pages.” —School Library Journal

“The creative juxtaposition of different textures and off-kilter picture components gives a vivid sense of the story’s chaotic events. Absurd and amusing.” —Booklist

“Take a look at the inside front and back covers for something extra and educational.” —Infodad.com

Publishers Weekly

A hopelessly perplexed student sends her school and community into chaos when she's stumped by a simple multiplication question. Asked "what's seven times ten?" her brain "just exploded," causing numerals to spew from the top of her head. "Everywhere, numbers were tumbling down-/ On the school yard and houses and streets of the town./ They halted the traffic; horns started blaring./ Dogs began barking and townsfolk stood staring." The "girl-befuddled-by-math" stereotype is in full play, though it may be overlooked given Brooker's (Someday When My Cat Can Talk) engaging mixed media collage (photographs of stocked shelves and fresh produce fill a scene in which renegade numbers wreak havoc in the supermarket). Horton's (Halloween Hoots and Howls) narrative bounces along in fairly predictable rhymes until the girl's gray matter kicks in ("That's when I heard it-a strange whirring sound/ As gears in my head started spinning around"). Just when it looks like she's back on track, a new math problem stumps her all over again. Not an encouraging read for those intimidated by the subject, but the high-energy artwork will entertain. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Anyone who has problems dealing with numbers can sympathize with our young narrator. In rollicking, amusing verse she tells us what happens when her teacher asks her what seven times ten is. Her overloaded brain just explodes, sending numbers careening around the classroom. Sent to the nurse, she starts to explain, only to have the numbers chase the nurse right out into the hall. The principal announces, "We're under attack!" as everyone vacates the school. The erupting numbers scramble the police, halt traffic in town, and send TV cameramen to seek shelter, but then, "…gears in my head started spinning around." The answer comes to her, and all seems back to normal until she is asked for eleven times nine… The front end pages display the numbers on the chalkboard confronting our perplexed heroine; the back pages show a similar display but with a smiling, triumphant girl strutting away. Brooker manipulates mixed media to create visually comic scenes, where gangs of numbers fly around confounding people and causing minor chaos. Figures are exaggerated in wild action in this book that is fun for all. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

When one more arithmetic lesson proves the last straw for a numerically exhausted child, leading to a full-blown math attack, the whole town is in peril. Numbers fly out of her head, tangling with arithmetic symbols and situations everywhere. They cause chaos with the clock on the town hall and the prices in the supermarket, knock civil servants down, and pelt the National Guard in helicopters that have been sent to rescue the town. It all begins when Miss Glass asks the answer to seven times ten. "I was thinking so hard all my circuits were loaded./Then all of a sudden, my brain just exploded." Finally, the girl's mental gears begin to grind and the answer, "70!," lights up the sky. The rhyming text is well cadenced, with carefully chosen words that flow easily. Rich paint and collage illustrations combine textures and colors with numbers spilling over the pages. Throughout, both pictures and verse work seamlessly to produce a humorous approach to one of life's basic obstacles for many children: learning the multiplication tables. This book could create a wonderful break during math class or an amusing storytime read-aloud.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME

Kirkus Reviews
In a departure from her collections of children's poetry (Halloween Hoots and Howls, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi, 1999, etc.), Horton's latest, while it still rhymes, tells the story of a young girl suffering from a math attack. It all happens when Miss Glass asked her seven times ten: Numbers fly out of the girl's head, bouncing off objects and hitting people. The nurse is no help, nor is a police officer-in fact, each time she recounts her plight, the numbers again pour out. The tale picks up momentum as the numbers wreak havoc in the town, but quickly slides into repetitiousness, with neither logic nor clever arithmetic games to give it a framework. While most of the couplets scan well, there are a few rhymes that just don't work. Brooker's artwork mixes painting with collage, resulting in busily full illustrations that are rich in textures. Ultimately, this falls far short of Jon Sczieska and Lane Smith's masterful Math Curse (1995). With its tiresome repetition and lack of utility as a lesson springboard in classrooms, this is one attack to avoid. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374348618
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

JOAN HORTON’s Halloween Hoots and Howls was praised as “deliciously silly” by School Library Journal. She lives in Glastonbury, Connecticut. KYRSTEN BROOKER’s many popular picture books include The Prince Won’t Go to Bed! by Dayle Ann Dodds, which a starred School Library Journal review hailed as “laugh-out-loud funny.” She lives in Edmonton, Canada.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Book!!!

    This book is excellent for anyone who wants to get their child excited about math,reading, and writing. After I read this book to my child I could tell she loved it by the look in her eyes. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

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