Going a step beyond his Arithme-Tickle (illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, 2001), Lewis cleverly combines math and language arts with this collection of humorous poetry parodies that present readers with math word problems to solve.
Fourteen famous poets and some of their more prominent works are the basis for Lewis’ parodies, which are all in good fun and retain the structure, rhyme and rhythm of the originals. Each poem presents children with at least one math problem to solve, and many of them require several steps to get to the final answer. The level of difficulty varies as much as the poems themselves. Teachers will appreciate the wide array of mathematics required to solve the puzzles. In addition to the four basic operations, the challenges test knowledge of fractions, percentages, decimals, area, perimeter and money. But language arts teachers are not to be left out of the fun. While the original poems are, sadly, not included, backmatter does include a very short bio of each poet. From Lear, Whitman and Dickinson to Hughes, Nash and Silverstein, this is like a who’s who of famous poets. Slack’s digital illustrations match the whimsy and fun of the poems, the tongue-in-cheek humor in full gear. While the illustrations provide no clues as to how to solve the math, the answers are printed upside down on each spread.
Humor, math and poetry—who knew they were such a good combination? (Poetry/math. 8-12)