I’m Trying to Love Math

Viking. Jul. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780451480903.
K-Gr 2–As an invisible narrator begins to express a distaste for math, a three-eyed purple alien arrives in a flying saucer to make a case for why math is important and helpful. Unconvinced, the narrator makes several attempts to love math but these efforts seem to prove that math is boring. All of these arguments are rebuffed by the alien, who shows that math is a crucial part of cooking, music, nature, and navigation. By the end of the book, both the narrator and the reader come to the realization that math is connected to many things that they enjoy, so maybe they already love it. This engaging volume is filled with colorful, splashy illustrations; two unique lettering styles are used to differentiate between the narrator’s words and those spoken by the alien. Although it is not as much of a smash as Barton’s I’m Trying to Love Spiders, this book offers ample opportunity for readers to interact with the text and have conversations with and about the narrator and the friendly, pro-math alien.
VERDICT For early elementary students who are showing an aversion to mathematical concepts, Barton’s characters might show them that real-life math applications exist in things that they already love

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