Maths Curse


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About the Author

Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (illustrated by Lane Smith), and Math Curse (illustrated by Lane Smith). In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called "Guys Read" that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the country's first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children's Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for children's literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading. You can visit Jon online at


Gr 1-4-Do Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka make a whacky team? Do four quarts equal a gallon? Do 12 inches equal a foot? Yes, yes, and yes! Their wild and crazy homage to the story problem (Viking, 1995) is well-treated here. A young girl's math teacher, Mrs. Fibonacci, tells the class that you can think of almost everything as a math problem. Thus the week begins and soon every aspect of the youngsters' lives is dominated by the story problems that gave us all nightmares at one time or another. Measurement, fractions,'s all here. Things start simply but degenerate in a surreal manner nicely reflected in Lane Smith's imaginative, bizarre, eye-catching illustrations that combine drawings with collage. They are scanned iconographically as well as animated for maximum effect while Nancy Wu's high-energy narration bounces from problem to problem. Original music enhances the text. The DVD includes a humorous interview with both Smith and Scieszka lobbing comments back and forth like a high-speed tennis match. Viewers may choose to watch the story with or without read-along subtitles. The CD includes Wu's narration and the original music, as well as a track for the "Math Curse" song. This is a zany presentation that pokes gentle fun at math, while pointing out how much it impacts our daily lives.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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