cover image Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late

Laura Overdeck, illus. by Jim Paillot. Feiwel and Friends, $14.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-250-03585-1

Overdeck debuts with a just-irreverent-enough book based on, the phenomenally successful math education Web site she created. Instead of dividing her book by arithmetic operation, she uses ripped-from-cable-TV themes ("Exploding Food," "Sports You Shouldn't Try at Home") and breezy reality-based topics to tee up three levels of challenge: "Wee ones" (for those still counting on fingers), "Little kids" (simple arithmetic), and "Big kids" (bigger numbers, more complex problems). Whether Overdeck is asking readers to noodle on the Scoville scale of pepper hotness ("Habanero peppers score 350,000, and some peppers actually crack 1 million") or the speed of a cheetah ("They're zooming faster than the cars on a highway, and without ever getting a speeding ticket"), she shows that she knows her audience and loves her subject. Paillot (the My Weird School series) is a great choice for collaborator: called upon to illustrate everything from praying mantises to human cannonballs, he does it all with a good-hearted, goofy energy that should propel readers through the pages. Ages 3 – 8. Author's agent: Cathy Hemming, Cathy D. Hemming Literary Agency. (June)