# Math Curse

### Jon Scieszka. Viking Books, \$17.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-86194-1

Whew! This latest whimsical work from Scieszka and Smith (The True Story of the Three Little Pigs; The Stinky Cheese Man) is bound to stretch out the old thinking cap. The day after her teacher announces, ""You know, you can think of almost everything as a math problem,"" the narrator is afflicted with a ``math curse'' that affects how she views every facet of her day (``Everything seems to be a problem''). A minimum of the questions she asks herself are entirely logical (""How many quarts are in a gallon?''); some are far-fetched extrapolations (if an M&M is about one centimeter long and the Mississippi River is about 4000 kilometers long, how many M&Ms would it take to measure the length of this river?); and a happily hefty number are sheer nonsense: ""I undo 8 buttons plus 2 shoelaces. I subtract 2 shoes. I multiply times 2 socks and divide by 3 pillows to get 5 sheep, remainder 1, which is all I need to count before I fall asleep."" Like the text, Smith's wonderfully wacky collage-like art will give readers ample food for thought-even if it's part junk food. Here's a morsel: ""Does tunafish + tunafish = fournafish?"" Kids will want seconds-count on it. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)