In Kate Banks’ newest book, “Max’s Math,” Max has set out to find problems, just for the fun of it. Building his car, he is 2 wheels short but found some in the basement: 2 +2 = 4. Adding up various vehicles on the highway , he turns toward Shapeville and finds the town littered with triangles circles, and ovals but no squares. Max leads the townspeople in combining shapes to make a square, stop sign and kite. Grabbing the kite, he floats through the air with birds, clouds and stars to count on his way to Count Town. Upon arrival, the mayor announced an impending rocket launch where they will need to find the missing numbers for their countdown from 10. Luckily, Max and his brothers were able to contribute the number 6 that they picked up on their journey. This zany tale flips from one scene to another, engaging the reader in the language of math. One of my favorite conversations is when the kids spot “0” in a bird’s nest of eggs and declare it “nothing” yet it must be something because “without it there wouldn’t be a 10.” Explaining the concepts depicted in each problem is a language lesson in itself, asking your child, “What is Max’s problem?” and “How did he solve it?” make this book a rewarding read.
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