Monday, May 16, 2011

Mathemagic by Lynda Colgan, illustrated by Jane Kurisu

I’m often asked for magic trick books, but it’s hard to find really good ones. I wasn’t quite convinced that this would fill that gap when I looked at the description, but once I started reading I was hooked!

Starting with simple multiplying tricks and working up to more complicated – and ancient – mathematical secrets, this is the perfect book for every would-be mathemagician, even if they don’t think they like math.

Each trick is clearly explained in a series of simple steps, with ample illustrations. The tricks include multiplying with your fingers, tricks with dice, mental calculation, and ancient Egyptian tricks for multiplying large numbers. Each trick is followed with an explanation of how it works and the mathematical theories behind the process.

The illustrations help the reader follow the various steps to finish the tricks; I especially appreciated the hands that showed how to move your fingers. They also add some mild humor to the instructions and pop out the smaller sections on history, math, and magic.

Kids Can Press has a great track record for creating easy-to-follow, kid-friendly how to and craft books and this is no exception. Kids may be reluctant to pick this title up on their own – fear of math starts at a regrettably early age – but demonstrate a few of the quick, easy tricks and they’ll be hooked!

Verdict: A must-buy for your magic tricks section, highly recommended!

ISBN: 9781554534258; Published March 2011; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates.

No comments: