Molly and the Mathematical Mysteries: Ten Interactive Adventures in Mathematical Wonderland by Eugenia Cheng, illustrated by Aleksandra Artymowska. Big Picture Press, 9781536217100, 2021
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? This is a really fun interactive puzzle book. It follows Molly, who travels from her house on an escape-room-like adventure. Along the way she finds notes asking her to solve different puzzles to move on. Each puzzle is connected to a math concept, which is briefly explained on that page. Each page also includes an I-Spy-like question to additionally explore in the illustrations. Most of the math concepts are very briefly introduced, and readers can solve the puzzle without understanding too much math, which very much matches the purpose of fun exploration rather than deep mathematical understanding. I especially appreciated a few pages at the back of the book where each concept is explained in a bit more depth for curious students and teachers. Concepts include inverses, shapes, dimensions, patterns, and symmetry.
Anything you did not like about the book. Most lift-the-flap books don’t last very long in libraries before they are ripped.
To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a perfect book for a math teacher to have in their room for kids to explore with extra time. The math concepts would be best for upper elementary aged students, but the pictures and some of the puzzles would be enjoyed by younger children. And any kids who like I Spy books or other puzzle challenges will definitely love this!
Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians, math teachers
Where would you shelve it? Picture books, math books, or browsing/pop-up books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham, Massachusetts
Date of review: April 18, 2021