The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang is a book of math puzzles and riddles for kids ages 7-10.
My 5th grade son and I had such a great time with this book! Since my son is 11, this book was below his math level, but we still had a lot of fun figuring out the riddles.
This book asks children to use a variety of different math skills and encourages problem solving math techniques by looking for patterns and combinations of numbers. This technique allows children to find the answers quickly and effectively by using addition, subtraction and multiplication skills.
There is an answer key at the end of the book with a detailed explanation of the easiest way to compute the answer.
Tang writes in his notes, "I hope everyone who reads The Grapes of Math enjoys this exciting new approach to problem solving that encourages creativity and common sense, not memorization and formulas."
I enjoy the way that his riddles encourage children to use problem solving skills, enabling them to have more confidence in their math abilities.
Here is an example of a riddle in The Grapes Of Math:
Apples are crabby, berries are blue,
Cherries are sweet and so are you!
How many cherries do you see?
Please don't count them separately.
Pair the cherries bunch by bunch,
Add them quickly before they're lunch.
Although this book was clearly more of my son's age range, my kindergartner also had fun with this book. The bright and fun illustrations and rhyming dialog caught her attention. She wanted "to play, too!".
I just asked her questions on each page that were more of her math level. For example, on the Sweet Cherries page, I asked her to count all the cherries, and had her add together a few rows of the cherries.
This is a great book that teaches creativity and problem solving in math.
I would definitely encourage parents and teachers to add this book to their library collection!
And be sure to check out Tang's Math For All Seasons! A similar riddle book for children ages 4-8 years old!