Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe's Pie by Patrick Lewis

Over the summer, how does a parent keep kids reading, improve math skills, and have fun all at the same time?  One suggestion is the new children’s book, Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: math puzzlers in classic poems by Patrick Lewis.  As the subtitle suggests, the author has taken classic poems and reworked them into math puzzlers.  The illustrations in the book, by Michael Slack, are wonderful and filled with clever details. This book is entertaining, funny, and a challenge.

Some of the reworked classic poems include, "the Raven", by Edgar Allen Poe; Robert Frost’s "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" becomes "Robert Frost’s Boxer Shorts"; and “The Termite” by Ogden Nash is the inspiration for “Ogden Nash’s buggy rugs.”

It’s a bit hard to get your head around this book, so the best thing I can do is give you an example.  I chose a short one, “Edward Lear’s Elephant with hot dog.  It was inspired by “There was an old man with a beard” by Edward Lear.

When an elephant sat down to order
A half of a third of a quarter
Of an eighty-foot bun
And a frankfurter, son,
Was it longer than three feet, or shorter?

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