cover image Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: 
Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

J. Patrick Lewis, illus. by Michael Slack. Harcourt, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-547-51338-6

Children’s poet laureate Lewis turns poems from Whitman, Frost, Lear, and more into story problems (poetry problems?) to comically absurd effect. Inspired by Dickinson, Lewis writes, “My book closed twice before its close—/ The two opposing pages/ That added up to 113—/ Were smudged around the edges—” and invites readers to supply the page numbers. Another poem is modeled after “The Termite” by Ogden Nash: “Some termite burrowed under rugs/ And found three hundred thirteen bugs./ If eighty-two plus fifteen snore,/ How many termites chew the floor?” Solutions appear upside-down. Slack’s bug-eyed caricatures are an exuberant complement to Lewis’s delightfully offbeat union of poetry and math. Ages 6–9. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Apr.)