Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry

Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry

by Cindy Neuschwander, Bryan Langdo

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Matt and Bibi use math to escape from a pharaoh's tomb!

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Matt and Bibi use math to escape from a pharaoh's tomb!

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review

The illustrations, by Bryan Langdo, are bright and clever, and there's a straightforward lesson in geometry built into the promise of Egypt. . . . very young Egyptologists will enjoy the archaeological atmosphere.
Children's Literature
Matt and Bibi's parents, famous scientists, were invited to Egypt to help find a mummy in an ancient tomb. Bibi fortunately studied hieroglyphics in preparation for the trip. An archeologist greeted the family upon arrival at the historic site and told them that the tomb was a complete mystery. The burial chamber could not be found. As their parents were preparing for the exploration, Matt, Bibi, and Riley (their dog) crawled through a tiny opening in the pyramid. A door closed behind them. Now they were dependent on their knowledge of geometric shapes to solve they puzzle of the missing tomb and find their way out. They discovered pictures of cones, spheres, cubes, cylinders, pyramids, tetrahedrons, and prisms painted on the walls. Messages written in hieroglyphics provided clues. The twins successfully maneuvered their way into the tomb. They expressed excitement when they saw the treasures in the anteroom and then found the coffin with the mummy and burial mask in place. A map in the coffin lid provided showed the way out. A note at the end of the book provides suggested learning activities for teachers and parents to use with children. Large, colorful illustrations portray symbols and structures associated with ancient Egypt. A good introduction to solid geometry in an interesting context. 2005, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 8 to 11.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Matt and Bibi go to Egypt with their scientist parents in search of an ancient pharaoh's mummy. When the siblings are accidentally shut in the pyramid, they decide to explore. Using hieroglyphic clues, they discover that the path to the mummy is delineated by "faces," the flat surfaces of geometric solids. As they find either pictures of solid shapes or the objects themselves, the twins count the faces of the shapes and are guided through the pyramid by relating their answers to the hieroglyphic clues. They find the mummy and a map indicating the way out. Although this book attempts to provide an introduction to solid geometry, the information is not clearly presented. The colorful impressionist cartoons depict the various shapes discussed in the text, but they are not labeled. The plot itself is a stretch: before they leave for Egypt, Bibi says she hopes to learn about hieroglyphics, but as soon as she arrives there, she is expert enough to interpret complex messages. An endnote lists some good activities to help children learn about geometric solids, but the story will leave readers more confused than enlightened. Try Stuart J. Murphy's Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes (HarperCollins, 2001) and Tana Hoban's Cubes, Cones, Cylinders, & Spheres (Greenwillow, 2000) for better introductions to this topic.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Amateur archeology sleuths follow geometric clues to find a pharaoh's mummy. Matt and Bibi are the twin children of scientists invited to Egypt. First to enter the pyramid, the two are trapped inside when a secret door closes. Luckily, Bibi learned to read hieroglyphics before they left home. Along with the writing on the wall are geometric solids. The pair follows the clues leading them to count the faces on the solids. Definitely not an introductory text to geometric solids, this is more a reinforcement of the concept. The historical knowledge readers will take from this is a mix of factual and farcical. Limestone rock, papyrus scrolls and the antechamber filled with items needed for the afterlife are on target. The giant granite towers inside the pyramid and the carved wooden box that holds the pharaoh's clean underwear are not. Attempting to be both entertaining story and teaching text makes this fall a little flat and the whole premise is silly. (Picture book. 8-11)
From the Publisher
“The illustrations, by Bryan Langdo, are bright and clever, and there’s a straightforward lesson in geometry built into the promise of Egypt. . . . very young Egyptologists will enjoy the archaeological atmosphere.”—The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
530L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Cindy Neuschwander is the author of the Sir Cumference series, and she is also a third-grade teacher. Although she has never been trapped inside a pyramid, she has explored some in Egypt. Ms. Neuschwander lives with her family in Northern California.

Bryan Langdo is the illustrator of several books for young readers. He is a big fan of mummy movies and lives in New Jersey with his wife.

Together, Ms. Neuschwander and Mr. Lango have created three Adventures in Math picture books for Henry Holt. Patterns in Peru was published in Spring 2007, and Pastry School in Paris will be out in Spring 2009.

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