MATH ATTACK! by Joan Horton


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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In a departure from her collections of children’s poetry (Halloween Hoots and Howls, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi, 1999, etc.), Horton’s latest, while it still rhymes, tells the story of a young girl suffering from a math attack. It all happens when Miss Glass asked her seven times ten: Numbers fly out of the girl’s head, bouncing off objects and hitting people. The nurse is no help, nor is a police officer—in fact, each time she recounts her plight, the numbers again pour out. The tale picks up momentum as the numbers wreak havoc in the town, but quickly slides into repetitiousness, with neither logic nor clever arithmetic games to give it a framework. While most of the couplets scan well, there are a few rhymes that just don’t work. Brooker’s artwork mixes painting with collage, resulting in busily full illustrations that are rich in textures. Ultimately, this falls far short of Jon Sczieska and Lane Smith’s masterful Math Curse (1995). With its tiresome repetition and lack of utility as a lesson springboard in classrooms, this is one attack to avoid. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 20th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-374-34861-8
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2009


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