cover image Mind-Boggling Numbers

Mind-Boggling Numbers

Michael J. Rosen, illus. by Julia Patton. Millbrook, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4677-3489-9

Ms. Mary Math, “the go-to wiz for mind-boggling math questions,” answers questions related to volume, distance, weight, and other topics, framed as letters from curious kids. A Florida letter-writer, “Grounded in Groveland,” asks how long it would take to send a birthday card to everyone on the planet; the answer, after some quick multiplication, is 222 years. The off-kilter scenarios proposed, which are entertainingly captured in Patton’s quirky cartoon graphics, and the off-the-cuff tone Rosen adopts for the answers keep these unconventional story problems from ever feeling like homework. “That’s a sweet thought,” says Ms. Mary of the birthday card question. “One problem: your task’s impossible.” Ages 7–11. (Sept.)