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School Library Journal
Many children will recognize the dread that faces the hero of this Faustian tale as Sunday evening dwindles and the math homework can no longer be ignored. As the clock strikes 12, the narrator is granted a brief reprieve from his mathematical woes when a caped monster appears in his bedroom and offers to do his homework for a price. The youngster gladly signs his contract, opting to pay later, and is highly satisfied with his bargain when his homework yields an A+ the following day. Eventually the downside of this arrangement hits home when the boy is called to the blackboard and is unable to complete a problem, having not actually learned anything. In his determination to escape his contract, he is forced to use math to come up with the $64 payoff and discovers that he enjoys problem-solving. Mayer's vibrant, computer-generated illustrations, replete with gigantic otherworldly grins and mortal eyes stretched tall with fear, will appeal to fans of afternoon cartoons. Outlandish shadows convey the cautionary nature of the tale, while amusing details keep the mood perpetually fun. Narrated in humorous verse, this "tale of mathematical mayhem" will provide an entertaining addition to math classes and a useful warm-up to tutoring sessions with less-than-enthusiastic students.
—Jayne DamronCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.