From School Library Journal
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.α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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. Grades 3-5. --Ian Chipman