My grateful thanks to the author Jon Hales for a copy of his children’s book Mathimals, illustrated by Charlene Mosley. I’ve always been a bit of an idiot when it comes to maths, having had 8 different maths teachers during my O’Level so I was intrigued to see what Mathimals could offer!
Published by Create Space on 5th February 2018, Mathimals is available for purchase here.
Do you find it hard to add?
Brace yourself for a slightly unusual and mildly chaotic lesson in basic addition!
What happens when you add 1 mouse + 1 sheep, for example? Or 4 caterpillars + 4 fish?
You’ll find out in this hugely entertaining picture book filled with weird and wonderful creatures.
Packed with brightly coloured illustrations, clever wordplay and lots of fun details, this rhyming story is sure to capture the imaginations of young children and is designed to help simple sums stick in the mind. Perfect for ages 2-6 but with plenty for older children and even adults to enjoy.
My Review of Mathimals
A picture book of invented animals to stimulate addition for young children.
It comes as absolutely no surprise to me to discover that the author is a former English teacher because, although Mathimals is a maths book, there is so much that can be used to teach English and stimulate vocabulary and the joy of reading for young children. The way in which new compound words are invented as adding one animal to another leads to a brand new breed is lovely. I may be over 5 decades older than the intended audience but I really enjoyed the imaginative approach here. The language is simple, but has excellent rhymes and a really good rhythm so that literacy as well as numeracy is promoted.
The numeracy of Mathimals is really well done. Multiples of two and the effect of doubling are so well integrated into the excitement of creating new creatures that learning can happen without a child even realising. Towards the end of the book there’s a smashing exercise for children to count up to 30 as they search for creatures in the trees so that early numeracy can be extended beyond just number 10.
I must also say something about the illustrations from Charlene Mosley. They are quirky, vibrant and interesting, with so many unusual things to spot that they add to the enjoyment and stimulus of Mathimals wonderfully. They also have a naivety that will appeal to children and encourage them to invent their own creatures, leading to art work and even better numeracy and literacy.
I think Mathimals is a cracking book for children and recommend it completely.
About Jon Hales
Jon Hales is a British author, English literature graduate and former English teacher who learned first-hand the power of a great picture book while teaching in Taiwan, reading stories to his younger students. The capacity for a well crafted turn of phrase, captivating character or hilarious illustration to capture the imagination of its audience was fascinating to him. Jon dreamed of crafting stories that would bring joy to both children and adults, stories that could be read again and again without losing their charm. Jon lives in London with his wife Annie. He would like to stress that no animals were harmed in the production of his debut picturebook, Mathimals.