Google+

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mesmerizing Math -- Book Review

Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Yesterday was the big math day known as Pi Day. It occurs on every March 14 since the irrational number pi is round off to be 3.14. And of course this year was even more special since if you round it off a few more digits later it is 3.1416 and thus the date 3/14/16 or March 14, 2016. Since I have already shared the Multicultural History of Pi, Activities for Pi Day and Where Pi is Taking Us in past years, I did not share any new Pi Day post. However it seems appropriate to share a fun math book this week with you. Now last week I shared a book comparing the Eastern parenting styles to the Western parenting styles and asked the question of why many Asians perform better in math and science fields than non-Asians. One of the big answers was that the Asian parents really push math at a young age. The book also discussed that the use of exploring mathematics does not work for all children and that in the Asian culture children are taught how to do the math and have it drilled in to their heads with worksheets and such. This book does not do that. In fact I would say Mesmerizing Math by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Thomas Flintham is the perfect book that will let kids explore some of the more fun aspects of math. 

http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763668818&pix=y

 The suggested age for Mesmerizing Math is grade two through five or seven to ten years old. Some of the concepts were definitely over Hazel's head (she is seven and in first grade), but she absolutely loves this book and asks me to read it to her over and over again. The book has flaps and tabs and all sorts of interactive parts to make it even more exciting. The book covers numbers, geometry, statistics, measurement, transformations, probability and sequences and series. There is a two page spread for each topic.

http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763668818&pix=y
Source
 The sample inside spread is the numbers page. It deals with zero, negative numbers, square numbers and square roots, triangular numbers, fractions, primes and factors, powers, percentages and decimals, and infinity. The explanations are fun and easy to understand and there is a little history thrown in as well. In the geometry section on shapes it deals with lines, triangles, angles, quadrilaterals, the golden rectangle, polygons, solids, nets, circles and even a Mobius strip. The probability section talks about chance and odds including things like flipping a coin, a spinner and more. Transformations talks about symmetry, translations, skewing, and tessellations. The measurement pages talk about the history of measurement and the importance as well as various ways to find the height of a tree and the various types of measurements. The statistics page introduces graphs, averages, data collection and more. The series and sequence page includes Fibonacci numbers, Pascal's triangle and more!

Now I thought about putting together some activities to go with the book, but I realized the book has the activities in it already. Many of the pages have a try this section with some fun math activity (some of which I used in my classroom). I have to say this is a great book and it really brings some fun to math. I absolutely love it and I love watching Hazel work with it as well!! I hope you will check it out. It is such a fun book!!