Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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 (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 4-6-Famous poems are adapted into math problems involving boxer shorts, pizza, termites, and more. I think that I shall never solve/A poem that makes my brain evolve/Word problems are made by fools like me/But only Patrick Lewis can make poems like these. Silly, colorful art adds appeal. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Though it's a bit of a gamble that mixing poetry with math will make either any less baffling, Lewis' grab bag of classic poems rewritten to include numbers puzzlers has an undeniably fun spirit. The math ranges from simple (asking how many cuts it takes to make 10 pie pieces in a reworking of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven ) to muddied (in the spin on A. A. Milne's Us Two, the line eight plus two times two can really go in either of two ways) to downright challenging (asking kids to calculate the tax on a train ticket, and then a tip on the ticket plus tax, in the poem inspired by Langston Hughes' April Rain Song ). Slack's ebullient artwork matches the goofy tone of the poems, and the answers to each problem are printed upside-down on each spread. This book could come in handy for a variety of different classroom purposes, but confirmed mathletes are probably the best bet for an audience.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist