Loading... ## The Number Devil (1997)## by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
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Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. No current Talk conversations about this book. This is an adventure in mathematics. The book goes through different higher mathematical concepts that grow progressively more complicated. This work of fiction is interesting, because it uses the vehicle of a child being frustrated with his math teacher to start the story. The story is told through dreams and shows the magic and wonder of numbers. ( ) Random math thinly disguised as a novel. I get what it's trying to do but it feels more like the kind of characters that kids' textbooks have to make the info more "fun." there isn't a plot here. But if it gets kid's reading about math then go go go. Plus, the illustrations are really cute. The reason we picked this book up was to help the kids see math as fun and interesting and this book certainly did the trick. It didn't tie in to anything we were learning because the concepts were quite advanced but it illustrated several ways numbers are just amazing and how they sometimes make perfect sense and other times don't. My husband, who is a numbers guys, found it intriguing as well. I think we will go back to this book again and again. (Read as research for book project) Part of a limited number of books for children which combine fiction with mathematical or scientific education. Robert has bad dreams on a regular basis, but after a while instead of the usual falling down slides and being eaten by fish he is instead visited by a number devil, who teaches him many fun facts and tricks about mathematics. There is little plot to this, and the characters seem mainly fleshed by just being occasionally riled by each other. But the explanations of the mathematics are reasonably clear and engaging for older children, even if at times there could be a little more depth and clarity to the topics. It should achieve its aim of making mathematics exciting and inspiring for children - far more so than school lessons can be. Who'da thought math could be not entirely boring or just plain mean? no reviews | add a review
Young Robert's dreams have taken a decided turn for the weird. Instead of falling down holes and such, he's visiting a bizarre magical land of number tricks with the number devil as his host. Starting at one and adding zero and all the rest of the numbers, Robert and the number devil use giant furry calculators, piles of coconuts, and endlessly scrolling paper to introduce basic concepts of numeracy, from interesting number sequences to exponents to matrices. Author Hans Magnus Enzensberger's dry humor and sense of wonder will keep you and your kids entranced while you learn (shhh!) mathematical principles. Who could resist the little red guy who calls prime numbers "prima donnas," irrational numbers "unreasonable," and roots "rutabagas"? Not that the number devil is without his devilish qualities. He loses his temper when Robert looks for the easy way out of a number puzzle or dismisses math as boring and useless. "What do you expect?" he asks. "I'm the number devil, not Santa Claus." (Ages 10 to adult) |
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