Bedtime Math wants to change the way we introduce math to children: to make math a fun part of kids' everyday lives.
We all know it's wonderful to read bedtime stories to kids, but what about doing math? Many generations of Americans are uncomfortable with math and numbers, and too often we hear the phrase, "I'm just not good at math!" For decades, this attitude has trickled down from parents to their kids, and we now have a culture that finds math dry, intimidating, and just not cool.
Bedtime Math wants to change all that. Inside this book, families will find fun, mischief-making math problems to tackle—math that isn't just kid-friendly, but actually kid-appealing. With over 100 math riddles on topics from jalapeños and submarines to roller coasters and flamingos, this book bursts with math that looks nothing like school. And with three different levels of challenge (wee ones, little kids, and big kids), there's something for everyone. We can make numbers fun, and change the world, one Bedtime Math puzzle at a time.
Overdeck debuts with a just-irreverent-enough book based on bedtimemath.org, the phenomenally successful math education Web site she created. Instead of dividing her book by arithmetic operation, she uses ripped-from-cable-TV themes ("Exploding Food," "Sports You Shouldn't Try at Home") and breezy reality-based topics to tee up three levels of challenge: "Wee ones" (for those still counting on fingers), "Little kids" (simple arithmetic), and "Big kids" (bigger numbers, more complex problems). Whether Overdeck is asking readers to noodle on the Scoville scale of pepper hotness ("Habanero peppers score 350,000, and some peppers actually crack 1 million") or the speed of a cheetah ("They're zooming faster than the cars on a highway, and without ever getting a speeding ticket"), she shows that she knows her audience and loves her subject. Paillot (the My Weird School series) is a great choice for collaborator: called upon to illustrate everything from praying mantises to human cannonballs, he does it all with a good-hearted, goofy energy that should propel readers through the pages. Ages 3 8.