You Can Count on Monsters: The First 100 Numbers and Their Characters

Front Cover
A K Peters Limited, 2010 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 244 pages
26 Reviews
Using a unique teaching tool designed to motivate kids to learn, this volume visually explores the concepts of factoring and the role of prime and composite numbers. The playful and colorful monsters are designed to give children (and even older audiences) an intuitive understanding of the building blocks of numbers and the basics of multiplication. The introduction and appendices can also help adult readers answer questions about factoring from their young audience. The artwork is crisp and creative and the colors are bright and engaging, making this volume a welcome deviation from standard math texts.

CRC Press Author and NPR's Math Guy Keith Devlin spoke with Scott Simon about how the book makes finding prime numbers fun.

"This is one of the most amazing math books for kids I have ever seen," Devlin says. "Great colors, it's wonderful, and yet because [Schwartz] knows the mathematics, he very skillfully and subtly embeds mathematical ideas into the drawings."

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Review: You Can Count on Monsters

User Review  - Anne Harlan - Goodreads

A little explanation, very few words, and a lot of pictures to celebrate numbers. I think his monsters are too complicated, but the idea of building composite numbers out of elements of the factors is brilliant. Read full review

Review: You Can Count on Monsters

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

This book about factors has great visuals that show groupings for multiplication. The dots can also be counted individually for students who have yet to learn to skip count. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Richard Schwartz grew up in Los Angeles. He wore only blue clothes between the ages of 7 and 11. He spent his youth obsessively playing tennis until video games distracted him. He majored in math at UCLA, got a Ph.D in math from Princeton and is currently a professor at Brown University, with research interests in geometry, topology, and dynamics.He likes to do mathematical experiments on the computer and then find proofs for the results he discovers. Rich was an Invited Speaker at the 2002 International Congress of Mathematicians, a Guggenheim Fellow in 2003, and a Clay Research Scholar in 2009. He is the author of a number of books, including Spherical CR Geometry and Dehn Surgery, Outer Billiards on Kites, Man Versus Dog, and The Extra Toaster, among others. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Barrington, Rhode Island. In his spare time, he listens to music, writes comic books, thinks about future technologies, cycles on the bike path near his house, walks on the beach, or plays with his children.

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