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Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems
     

Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

by J. Patrick Lewis, Michael Slack (Illustrator)
 

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Is this poetry? Math? A brainteaser? Yes! It’s all that and more. The poet J. Patrick Lewis
has reimagined classic poems—such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Langston
Hughes’s “April Rain Song”—and added a dash of math. Between the silly parodies
and the wonderfully wacky art, kids will have so much

Overview

Is this poetry? Math? A brainteaser? Yes! It’s all that and more. The poet J. Patrick Lewis
has reimagined classic poems—such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Langston
Hughes’s “April Rain Song”—and added a dash of math. Between the silly parodies
and the wonderfully wacky art, kids will have so much fun figuring out the puzzles,
they won’t guess they’re learning! Answers appear unobtrusively on each page, and
engaging information about the original poets is included. Math games and concepts,
poetry and poet biographies—it’s all so cleverly put together. This funny book is a
treat for fans of words and numbers alike.

Editorial Reviews

Abby McGanney Nolan
Accompanied by clever illustrations…these poems range from Whitmanesque rhapsodies…to further calculations concerning John Ciardi's sharp 1962 rhymes about shark teeth…The book is…a festival of math and mirth.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Children’s poet laureate Lewis turns poems from Whitman, Frost, Lear, and more into story problems (poetry problems?) to comically absurd effect. Inspired by Dickinson, Lewis writes, “My book closed twice before its close—/ The two opposing pages/ That added up to 113—/ Were smudged around the edges—” and invites readers to supply the page numbers. Another poem is modeled after “The Termite” by Ogden Nash: “Some termite burrowed under rugs/ And found three hundred thirteen bugs./ If eighty-two plus fifteen snore,/ How many termites chew the floor?” Solutions appear upside-down. Slack’s bug-eyed caricatures are an exuberant complement to Lewis’s delightfully offbeat union of poetry and math. Ages 6–9. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

"Lewis cleverly combines math and language arts with this collection of humorous poetry parodies that present readers with math word problems to solve."--Kirkus

"Teachers and parents might challenge youngsters to try solving the math problems, then introduce them to the classic poems by reading them together."--School Library Journal

"Slack's bug-eyed caricatures are an exuberant complement to Lewis's delightfully offbeat union of poetry and math."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This book could come in handy for a variety of different classroom purposes."--Booklist

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
These parodies of classic poems will prove intriguing for both poetry lovers and math enthusiasts. Fifteen poems have been rewritten to include math puzzles. "Edgar Allan Poe's Apple Pie" begins "Once upon a midnight rotten,/Cold, and rainy, I'd forgotten/All about the apple pie." The question is how many cuts to give ten pieces. "Edward Lear's Elephant with Hot Dog" challenges the reader to order half of a third of a quarter of an eighty-foot bun. Poems from Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Hilaire Belloc, Robert Frost, Eleanor Farjeon, A. A. Milne, Ogden Nash, Langston Hughes, and others are included. Fortunately, the answers to the math puzzles appear (upside down) on the page facing each poem. Colorful, cartoonlike illustrations add to the humor. The last two pages present a picture (also cartoonlike) and a short biography for each featured poet. Language arts and math teachers will enjoy using this book with students. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Lewis—ever the innovator—has used poetic license once again, offering this collection of poems with two twists. Each original selection is written in the poetic trope of a well-known classic, the name of which is included in the title (e.g., "Edgar Allan Poe's Apple Pie," inspired by "The Raven"), and every poem contains one or more math problems (answered in fine print, at the bottom of the page). "A. A. Milne's Spooky Garden," inspired by "Us Two," asks for the perimeter and area of the garden in order to decide how much wire to buy for the fence; the narrator of "Shel Silverstein's Hippo-po-tah-tum," inspired by "Boa Constrictor," wonders how many bites it would take for the creature to eat all of him (a percentage problem). Slack's brightly colored, stylized cartoons carry off the same bizarre tone as the poetry. A mustachioed cowpoke and his horse, clad in their "tightie whities," stand before a clothesline hung with colorfully printed boxer shorts; a girl eating a doughnut "flies" above a lengthy train with the help of three birds holding her umbrella aloft with their feet. Brief introductions to the 14 poets—each accompanied by a small caricature likeness—appear on the final pages. Teachers and parents might challenge youngsters to try solving the math problems, then introduce them to the classic poems by reading them together.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Going a step beyond his Arithme-Tickle (illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, 2001), Lewis cleverly combines math and language arts with this collection of humorous poetry parodies that present readers with math word problems to solve. Fourteen famous poets and some of their more prominent works are the basis for Lewis' parodies, which are all in good fun and retain the structure, rhyme and rhythm of the originals. Each poem presents children with at least one math problem to solve, and many of them require several steps to get to the final answer. The level of difficulty varies as much as the poems themselves. Teachers will appreciate the wide array of mathematics required to solve the puzzles. In addition to the four basic operations, the challenges test knowledge of fractions, percentages, decimals, area, perimeter and money. But language arts teachers are not to be left out of the fun. While the original poems are, sadly, not included, backmatter does include a very short bio of each poet. From Lear, Whitman and Dickinson to Hughes, Nash and Silverstein, this is like a who's who of famous poets. Slack's digital illustrations match the whimsy and fun of the poems, the tongue-in-cheek humor in full gear. While the illustrations provide no clues as to how to solve the math, the answers are printed upside down on each spread. Humor, math and poetry--who knew they were such a good combination? (Poetry/math. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544456129
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/31/2015
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
226,077
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

J. Patrick Lewis has authored more than fifty books of poetry for children. In 2011, he was named the Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation and was given the NCTE Excellence in Children's Poetry Award. He lives in Westerville, Ohio.Visit his website at www.jpatricklewis.com.

Michael Slack is the illustrator of Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer, Edgar Allan Poe's Pie by J. Patrick Lewis, and many other picture books. He lives in Lafayette, California. Visit his website at www.slackart.com.

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