Synopses & Reviews
Is this poetry? Math? A brainteaser? Yes! Itand#8217;s all that and more. The poet J. Patrick Lewis
has reimagined classic poemsand#8212;such as Edgar Allan Poeand#8217;s and#8220;The Ravenand#8221; and Langston
Hughesand#8217;s and#8220;April Rain Songand#8221;and#8212;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 wonand#8217;t guess theyand#8217;re learning! Answers appear unobtrusively on each page, and
engaging information about the original poets is included. Math games and concepts,
poetry and poet biographiesand#8212;itand#8217;s all so cleverly put together. This funny book is a
treat for fans of words and numbers alike.
"This latest whimsical work from Scieszka and Smith...is bound to stretch out the old thinking cap....Smith's wonderfully wacky collage-like art will give readers ample food for thought even if it's part junk food." Publishers Weekly
"Smith's illustrations are wild and rollicking....This title can certainly be used as lighthearted relief in math class, but the story will be heartily enjoyed simply for its zany humor and nonstop sense of fun." School Library Journal
"Scieszka and Smith triumph...at the top of their class as artists and entertainers, their distinctive voice and original vision creating a child-centered, witty picture book about the woes of math anxiety." Booklist
"The mathematical facet of the book is equaled by playful references and humor, which gains the book exponential power." Children's Literature
"Textured, modern, abstract art and text in varied type create a sophisticated, humorous look at a subject that often engenders the high level of anxiety portrayed here." The Horn Book
From the inventive team that brought you The Stinky Cheese Man, a tale of a girl in the relentless grip of math-mania. What if you think of everything as a math problem and you spend your morning tabulating your teeth and calculating your corn flakes? You've got the math curse, that's what! Let Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith take you on an adventure to infinity and back.
From the inventive team that created "The Stinky Cheese Man," comes a tale of a girl in the relentless grip of math-mania.
Children'sand#160;Poet Laurate J. Patrick Lewis borrows themes from famous poems and flips them on their head to create wacky verses and riddles in a collection of math-based problem-solving parodies, while Michael Slack's illustrations keep the mix of poetry and math light and fun.
About the Author
Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan, on September 8, 1954. He grew up with five brothers, the same birthday as Peter Sellers and the Virgin Mary, and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane
reader were not of this world.
Those plain facts, plus his elementary school principal dad, his registered nurse mom (who once took Jon's Cub Scout den on a field trip to the prenatal ward), MAD magazine, four years of pre-med undergrad, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University, Robert Benchley, five years of painting apartments in New York City, his lovely wife Jeri Hansen who introduced him to Molly Leach and Lane Smith, Green Eggs and Ham, his teenage daughter Casey and almost teenage son Jake, ten years of teaching a little bit of everything from first grade to eighth grade, and the last twenty years of living in Brooklyn... are just some of Jon's answers to the questions, "Where do you get your ideas?" and/or "How did you become a writer?"
I don't know, just because, none of your beeswax, and flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash are some more of Jon's answers to questions you can imagine on your own.
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Lane Smith was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on August 25, 1959. His family moved to Corona, California when he was three, but spent the better part of every summer back in Oklahoma. "My family would take the old Route 66 highway. I think that's where my bizarre sense of design comes from. Once you've seen a 100-foot cement buffalo on top of a donut-stand in the middle of nowhere, you're never the same."
Lane has one brother, whose name is Shane. "Shane and Lane. My Mom thought this was funny. Really. A real hoot. However, HER brothers were named Dub, Cubby, Leo and Billy-Joe! My Dad's brothers were Tom and Jerry! I SWEAR this is true!"
Lane supplemented the money his parents were putting towards his college tuition by taking a job at Disneyland. "I worked at Disneyland for about five years as a janitor. Only we weren't called janitors, we were called custodial hosts. One of my duties was to clean out the attractions at night. It was great to be left in the Haunted Mansion all alone. Another duty was to clean up after someone if they got sick on the Revolving Teacup ride. Like I said, it was great to be left in the Haunted Mansion all alone."