The Grapes of Math: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles (Scholastic Bookshelf)

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Educators Resource offers products for preK-8 learning materials and educational toys used by schools teachers parents and children.

How many grapes are on the vine?
Counting each takes too much time.
Never Fear I have a hunch
There is a ...

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Overview

Educators Resource offers products for preK-8 learning materials and educational toys used by schools teachers parents and children.

How many grapes are on the vine?
Counting each takes too much time.
Never Fear I have a hunch
There is a match for every bunch.

Greg Tang a lifelong lover of math shares the techniques that have helped him solve problems in the most creative ways. Harry Briggs´s vibrant & inviting illustrations create a perfect environment for these innovative games. So open your mind-and have fun.

This...clever math book uses rhyming couplets... riddles...visual clues to help the reader find new ways to group numbers for quick counting...A winning addition. --Kirkus

Illustrated riddles introduce strategies for solving a variety of math problems in using visual clues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This genuinely clever math book uses rhyming couplets and riddles, as well as visual cues to help the reader find new was to group numbers for quick counting. It's a return to number sets, with non of those boring parentheses and signs. Here the rhyme gives a clue to the new ways of grouping numbers. For example: "Mama mia, pizza pie, / How many mushrooms do you spy? / Please don't count them, ti's too slow, / This hot pie was made to go / Let me give you some advice, / Just do half and count it twice." A quick look at the pizza, and the reader can see each slice has the same number of mushrooms. count by threes for half the pie and double it. Each rhyme is given a double-page spread. The extra-large, brightly colored images leap off the page but never distract from the author's intent. Some riddles are very challenging, but the author provides all the solutions in the back. Once the reader has seen the answers, the strategy is obvious and can be applied to other situations. Great fun for math enthusiasts and creative thinkers, this might also teach adults some new tricks. A winning addition.---Kirkus Reviews, Dec. 1, 2000

Sixteen rhymed riddles invite readers to discover shortcuts to finding the number of items in double-spread scenes. In each case grouping is the key--finding a pattern among related items and occasionally adding to or subtracting from the total. There's some genuine higher-order mathematical thinking involved here, as children call upon intuition, observation, and strategizing as well as reliable old "math facts" to calculate rather than count. "Knowing Dice" shows six pairs of dice (two rows of double sixes, ones, and threes) and provides the hint, "Before you start please look around,/Adding's fast when tens are found." It suddenly becomes obvious that it will be quicker to group six/one/three four times than to point and count each dot. The "riddles" themselves never amount to more than rhymed instructions, and the workmanlike computer art, which does provide concise diagrams for counting, is flat and bland. Consistent repetition of the same math strategy works well here, though and with appended answers to boast, readers who start out slowly will have lots of opportunity to build aptitude and speed.---Bulletin of the Center for the Chidren's Books, March 2001

Picture puzzles accompanied by clues in verse encourage readers to embark on some inspired problem solving. Each riddle and an illustration are set on a two- page spread. The goofy rhymes set a humorous tone. Through patterns, grouping, and creative thinking, the problems to be solved will have children adding, subtracting, and multiplying. Throughout, Tang sneaks in useful visual strategies that can be used in solving other computation problems. Bright, appealing computer images add to the playful nature of the title. The solutions provided at the back of the volume include a miniature color reproduction of each picture and a clearly diagrammed answer along with text outlining the process employed to arrive at that answer. A fun addition to classroom and library shelves.---School Library Journal, March 2001

"Be careful! But don't just add what you first see. A better way there's sure to be." In this fun, creative book, the author has integrated bright, colorful, and eye-appealing computer-generated pictures with clever riddles in rhyme, plays on words, and math, to stretch and open the mind and develop problem-solving skills. Readers are encouraged to look beyond the obvious method of computation (merely counting the objects) and to try other, less obvious ways to find the answer to each riddle. Attractive, two-page spreads showcase each of the three to four double-line riddles, which organize subjects and objects such as ants, gopher holes, fishes, fruits, and foods into symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns and groups. Solving the riddle just may require a little creative thinkin

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This clever collection of puzzles could spark the interest of even the mathematically challenged. The first-time collaborators serve up 16 math riddles, and team brisk verses ("Mama mia, pizza pie,/ How many mushrooms do you spy?") with bright computer-generated illustrations to teach problem-solving tricks and strategies. Each riddle offers a clue that nudges readers to look at the problem creatively the aforementioned "Large Pizza to Go!," for instance, hints, "Please don't count them, it's too slow,/ This hot pie was made to go!/ Let me give you some advice,/ Just do half and count it twice," while another riddle suggests, "Instead of seeing groups of threes,/ Count by fives and it's a breeze!" The simple, staccato rhymes and crisp lines of the artwork keep attention focused, while those who find themselves stumped can consult the "Answers" section at the back of the book, which offers an explanation of each problem and shows how to group objects together and look for patterns in order to speed up the calculation process. Whether counting fish, scallops, camel humps or ants at a picnic, this duo's enthusiasm for their subject matter is contagious. Ages 7-10. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This innovative picture book shows youngsters how to use simple, creative techniques in order to solve challenging math riddles. Each colorful, two-page spread contains a delightful rhyming word problem with a clever hint, accompanied by bold, vibrant illustrations. Instead of counting items one-by-one (a task that can be both tedious and time consuming), readers learn how to count more efficiently and accurately by using a variety of problem solving techniques such as grouping items, finding patterns, combining multiples and subtracting to add. Parents and educators will enjoy this refreshing approach to adding everyday objects because it puts aside formulas and memorization tables in favor of more open-minded, creative-computation strategies. The author concludes with an illustrated answer key, which provides a detailed explanation for each word problem, as well as a heartfelt letter to parents. This unique learning tool is a gem and it belongs on every family bookshelf. Don't miss this one—it's a winner. 2001, Scholastic Press, $16.95. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Debra Briatico
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Picture puzzles accompanied by clues in verse encourage readers to embark on some inspired problem solving. Each riddle and an illustration are set on a two-page spread. The goofy rhymes set a humorous tone. Through patterns, grouping, and creative thinking, the problems to be solved will have children adding, subtracting, and multiplying. Throughout, Tang sneaks in useful visual strategies that can be used in solving other computation problems. Bright, appealing computer images add to the playful nature of the title. The solutions provided at the back of the volume include a miniature color reproduction of each picture and a clearly diagrammed answer along with text outlining the process employed to arrive at that answer. A fun addition to classroom and library shelves.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439210331
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 225,821
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 10.27 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2001

    Quick Counts Build Confidence and Interest in Arithmetic!

    Greg Tang has put together a series of counting riddles which challenge you to find short cuts to a faster answer. Each problem provides the introduction to a new challenge. The riddles are written in verse and encourage you to develop your skills in patern recognition, grouping, and multi-step thinking. The book will be as much fun for parents as for youngsters, and can provide the basis for spotting interesting problems in the world around you. Clever rhymes, hints, and colorful illustrations combine to provide plenty of visual and mental stimulation. The riddles focus on natural objects like animals, insects, plants, and fruit to increase awareness of the patterns occuring around us. The riddles have fun names (like Fish School, Grapes of Math, Win-Doze, and For the Birds). My favorite riddles were Ant Attack and It's a Jungle Out There. The left hand page contains a colorful computer illustration provided by Harry Briggs. These are large and appropriately ambiguous to hide the patterns a little. Color and shape are especially used well to complicate the counting problem. On the right hand page is a riddle, containing a clue at the end. 'To help you find the right amount/Group by fives before you count' is one such clue. At the back of the book are the solutions to each riddle. Pattern recognition riddles help you to see squares and rectangles within more complex designs. You are also encouraged to see diamonds as being squares rotated by 45 degrees. Many times a pattern is repeated, and that becomes the basis of multiplication. Grouping encourages you to add common sums. An example would be sets of (8 + 3) + (6 + 5) + (4 + 7) = 33. By seeing that you can add to common subnumbers, you quickly find three elevens and then multiply by 3 in your head. The two-step riddles have you determine what the total universe is (usually by multiplying) and then subtracting the exceptions to get the subset. One example has a building with regular intervals of windows, some lit and some not. How many are lit? Most people never get to do the fun part of math, which is thinking up new and better ways to do things that build on imagination. By allowing your child to see the potential playfulness of what mathematicians do, this book will help create a better sense of what math is all about and that it can be fun. After you have had a good time with the book, I suggest that you and your child create new puzzles for each other. Build new knowledge from repeated patterns, wherever you find them! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2002

    Saw him teach LIVE!

    Mr. Tang came to my school to do a workshop for the math teachers. I am a music teacher, but was allowed to attend. His passion and concern for all students was evident throughout his workshop, but watching him in action in a third grade classroom was remarkable. The kids loved him and everyone was amazed at his ability to bring math concepts alive with clear and fun strategies that are in all his books. This is not just a fad, but a positive and clearcut way to teach children how much fun math can be, and that it is something that is not to be feared. Just very impressed! Patricia Jussaume M.Ed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Fun connection between Math & Reading

    Used with 5th grade and up in our math classes to introduce another way to answer that age old math question of, "When will I ever use THIS?!" :-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    Great math book!

    Illustrated in a bold, colorful style that attracts kids like a magnet. What a great way to emphasize and teach simple, basic math concepts everyone should know. Excellent!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I like this picture book series

    Loved the way adding and subtracting exercises are incorporated into this story. For a kid that likes to participate when he/she is being read to, this is a good mind-teaser. Not so hard it would make a child lose confidence, though perhaps they would need a couple times through before they get them all easily.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

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    Posted December 2, 2009

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