Here Come the Numbers

We review the fourth of this year’s nominees for the Book of the Year

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Kyle D Evans is maths teacher and an award-winning maths communicator and musical comedian. Hana Ayoob is an illustrator, science communicator, and creative producer of science events.

Together, they are the creators of Here Come the Numbers (Amazon UK, Waterstones, Explaining Science Publishing), the fourth book on the Chalkdust Magazine Book of the Year 2019 shortlist.

Style

Here Come the Numbers is a rhyming picture book. Each page of Here Come the Numbers features rhymes about numbers alongside illustrations of the ideas involved. At first glance, it looks like a children’s book, and it starts as many children’s maths books start: with small positive integers. But unlike many children’s maths books, it doesn’t stop there.

Damage

Here Come the Numbers quickly goes beyond the topics contained in your usual learning-to-count book. It introduces the reader to prime numbers, with illustrations of rectangles of objects to show factorisations, before touching on Pythagorean triples, negative number, and even Fermat’s last theorem. It does this while maintaining the easy-to-read and child-friendly style.

In a few places in the book, the reader is encourage to think about something, for example which squares can be broken into two smaller squares. These prompts provide the reader with opportunities to investigate mathematical ideas themselves.

Control

The ideas in Here Come the Numbers are very clearly articulated, and the illustrations work really well alongside the text to make the ideas easy to visualise.

Aggression

I would strongly recommend this to parents of young children, and I am eagerly awaiting the day when my niece is old enough to read it with her.

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