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THE MATH KIT by Ron Van der Meer


A Three-Dimensional Tour through Mathematics

by Ron Van der Meer & Bob Gardner

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-621535-7
Publisher: Scribner

British math instructor Gardner and designer Van der Meer (Your Amazing Senses, 1987) give us a magnificently produced volumemore like a game book than an instructional manualthat might amuse even the most die-hard math-hater. A pop-up pyramid pays tribute to the ancient Egyptians' application of mathematics to such staggering engineering accomplishments as the perfectly square Great Pyramid of Khufu. ``Mechanics'' with pull tabs illustrate mathematical processes as simple as subtraction and as complex as calculus. The glossary (a separate, pocket-size volume inserted into a well on the last page) defines terms from ``acute angle'' to ``Y axis'' in refreshingly clear language. One section on handling data even shows readers how to compare apples and oranges. The tired phrase ``fun for the whole family'' is truly apropos here: Kids will love the ingenious three-dimensional objects that slip out of various enclosures and dangle from strings; grownups may find that they finally understand the principles of trigonometryor at least that puzzling them out is a lot more fun with visual aids.