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Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems
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Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  150 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Is this poetry? Math? A brainteaser? Yes! It’s all that and more. The poet J. Patrick Lewis
has reimagined classic poems—such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Langston
Hughes’s “April Rain Song”—and added a dash of math. Between the silly parodies
and the wonderfully wacky art, kids will have so much fun figuring out the puzzles,
they won’t guess they’re learning! Answers
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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David Molnar
An unusual offering, pairing enjoyable illustrations with re-workings of poems by mostly famous authors, in the form of mathematical puzzles. Would be appropriate for late second grade to maybe fifth grade (although, I am tempted to say through high school, as once students are hit by standardized tests, the development of problem-solving ability stagnates). The best of the puzzles involve multiple steps, wherein the reader has to figure out what operations to apply, in what order. The weakest m ...more
This book's title clearly spells out exactly what its pages contain. Cleverly combining poetry and math in 14 poems based on classic lines written by famous but now deceased poets, Lewis poses problems that need solutions. One of my favorites included "Edgar Allan Poe's Apple Pie" with this introduction: "Once upon a midnight rotten,/ Cold and rainy, I'd forgotten/ All about the apple pie/ Still cooling from the hour before" (p. 8). In "Emily Dickinson's Telephone Book," readers are asked to fig ...more
As someone who avoided my math homework, so I could keep reading my book, I could have used more books like this one.
Oh I wish I was teaching math again. It would be great fun to pose these poems (problems) to the students. J. Patrick Lewis has written arithmetic problems within poems based on well-known poet’s poems, like "The Raven" by Poe, Nash’s "The Termite", and Farjeon’s "W Is For Witch". I guess that this could be used for those studying basic arithmetic up to pre-algebra. The problems are not all easily created (and solved) because the poems add mystery and even a little confusion in the telling. This ...more
May 03, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Our oldest borrowed this book from her elementary school library - it's a wonderful book of poems that combines the rhythm and style of famous poems with a math puzzle. The poems are often humorous and most of the math is fairly straightforward. I would recommend having a pencil and paper handy, especially for children who want to do the puzzles, but cannot do all of the steps in their head.

We wanted to take our time to read all the poems, but the book was due back at the library, so I read thr
Darshana Khiani (Flowering Minds)
classic poems x math = 1 cooky funny book
Mr. Lewis has done a wonderful job spoofing classic poems such as Edgar Allen Poe's 'Raven' or A.A. Milne's 'Us By Two' for the children with a touch of math. The illustrations are silly and eye-catching, perfect for engaging the reader.

Some of my favorites are:
Elephant with Hot Dog
Boxer Shorts
Buggy Rugs

Elephant with a Hot Dog

When an elephant sat down to order
A half of a third of a quarter
Of an eighty-foot bun
Was it longer than three feet, or a quarter?

Aleksandra Petrovich
This is poetry, math and brainteaser all in one. “The poet J. Patrick Lewis has reimagined classic poems—such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” and Langston Hughes’s “April Rain Song”—and added a dash of math. Between the silly parodies and the wonderfully wacky art, kids will have so much fun figuring out the puzzles, they won’t guess they’re learning! Answers appear unobtrusively on each page, and engaging information about the original poets is included.” (goodreads synopsis.)
I chose this boo
Angela Galvin
Edgar Allan Poe's Pies is a collective book containing math problems in classic poems. Each poem is inspired by famous poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, A.A. Milne, Robert Frost and Emily Dickenson. Each poem has their own spin on the inspired poem and contains a math riddle. My favorite poem is Ogden Nash's Buggy Rugs. The poem was inspired by "The Termite" by Ogden Nash. The illustrations are little cartoon like cream termites. The termites are on a old maroon table. There is a hole in the table ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Brilliant. I can't wait to share this with teachers. Math and poetry and a puzzle. Simply wonderful.
Love this book! If you’ve read Arith-me-tickle this is the perfect next step by the same author. Delightful poems based on classic poetry which have wrapped themselves around math puzzles to be solved. (If you haven’t read Arith-me-tickle I highly recommend it!)

The featured poets include Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Ogden Nash, Langston Hughes, Shel Silverstein, William Carlos Williams and many others.

The math puzzles in this one involve slightly more complicated operations to
Tiffany Beedle
This book is a book that contains poems with math puzzles in them. Each of the poems are classic poems by authors such as Poe, Lear, Dickinson,Williams. All of the poems have some type of math riddle in it, and at the bottom of the page the answer is given.

The audience for this book would be a fifth grade classroom. This would fit any type of child because they are engaging poems that most children would want to try and figure out. Any students would enjoy these poems.

I would use this book mos
Nicole Hibbert
Summary: In the book “Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems”, by J. Patrick Lewis we are given many poems and are given a math problem to figure out! Not only do we get fun pictures we get interesting and expressive words to help us solve our problem!

Audience: This book is intended for Elementary Students in any math class struggling with a concept.

Appeal: This book is a good fit for students who love math or for students who dislike math. Through the fun pictures and goofy expr
What a fabulous book! Even the Enginerd loves it. As a matter of fact, he is taking it to work to show his co-workers (Engineers!). After I read the book, I called my dad and read selections to him over the phone. This is really fun. Each page has a poem in the tone of a classic poet's verse, but they are math riddles. The opposing page has the answer in tiny print upside down on the bottom - some stumped even us if we weren't paying enough attention.

Funny, fun, definitely quirky and educationa
Paul  Hankins
Children's Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis offers a real treat in time for National Poetry Month 2012 (and beyond) with this collection of poems that present math riddles embedded in parodies of classic poems by classic poets.

And while this is a real mentor text for parody, it is the Michael Slack illustrations that really bring this whole collection together.

The back of the book offers biographical information regarding each of the poets parodied within the new collection of poems.

Karina Arroyo
I personally found this book to be very interesting as it involves math. I like how this book found the fun way of utilizing poems to represent math problems. Another characteristic that I liked were the pictures and how they really brought the poem to life. I personally found the poems to be very funny and full of fun. Many of the poems are interesting and colorful. This book however is not meant to teach math but to maybe be a segway for when you teach a section in math. Maybe as a teacher you ...more
Seeing lots of uses for this book in the classroom. Having kids figure out the puzzles; having students do a compare/contrast of the poem with the poems "inspiration". There is quick information in the back of the book about each poet. With such cryptic descriptions as "his life was curiouser and curiouser" (Lewis Carroll) or "his life and death are as shrouded in mystery as his literary work (Poe) and other fascinating tidbits, it might be a springboard for students to find other biographical i ...more
This book provides a good mix of different types of poetry, and each one is also a math problem. Each poem was inspired by a famous poet's work. The illustrations are bright and enticing, and I would definitely recommend this for an elementary or middle school student interested in poetry or in math and riddles.
Amy M
From Edward Lear to Robert Frost, former Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis emulates some of the most famous English-speaking poets with a collection that is cleverly filled with math problems. Each poem is a twist on an original, published poem and maintains the original’s poetic form. Edgar Allan Poe’s narrative poem “The Raven” becomes “Edgar Allan Poe’s Apple Pie.” It begins “upon a midnight rotten”, makes reference to a forgotten apple pie, and ends with the question, “How many cuts ...more
Crysta Xue
I feel like this incorporates two very complicated subjects (math and Poetry) for most people and makes it harder, but at the same time it can be very useful to teach the other subject if the person in good at one.
For word problem lovers--word problem poetry with illustrations! Answers are included for those of you who cringe when math confronts you in the guise of poetry (That was me!). It is only this strong aversion to math that kept me from giving this collection five stars. Feast your eyes on this sample:

Emily Dickinson's Telephone Book

inspired by "my life closed twice before its close" by emily dickinson

My book closed twice before it close--
The two opposing pages
That added up to 113--
Were smudged ar
This book is just one of the reasons why J. Patrick Lewis deserves his title as Poet Laureate! What a fun collection of poem parodies, each with a delightful dose of math. Unlike most books that try to pair literature and math, this one does not water down the math while trying to work it into the poems. I had fun recalling the original poems while reading the updated versions presented in this text. And it was also fun doing each of the problems. I can't wait to share this book with my fourth g ...more
I found this book recently at our local bookstore, and had to have it. I am a huge fan of the prolific J. Patrick Lewis. This book of poetry is unique for 2 reasons: 1)each poem is inspired by an already existing poem written by some great poets (not sure kids will get all the references, but I had a great time connecting the original with what J. Patrick Lewis wrote), and 2) each poem is a math riddle. I plan on buying a second copy of this book to give to my teaching partner as a back to schoo ...more
Good cross-curricular bulletin board puzzlers here! Enough for a whole school year!
Lynn Alan Heath
I read this with my grandson and we worked out all the math problems. Fun!
Laura Salas
Math word problems in the form of spoofs of famous poets/poems.

One of my favorites:

John Ciardi's
Shark Dentist

Inspired by "About the Teeth of Sharks" by John Ciardi

The thing about a shark is--teeth,
Said shark expert my brother Keith.

To study sharks, he happily
Set sail to greet them out at sea.

Keith counted the first pointed row--
Eight hundred twelve! Four rows to go.

If each of those had half as many.
How many teeth would equal plenty?

Before Keith finished adding, he
Was swallowed by shark dentistry
Misty Kincade
Literary Awards:
According to AR
Book Level: 5.4
Interest Level: Lower Grades (K-3)

A reimage of classic poems, "Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems" is a brainteaser for readers. This book of poems encourages critical thinking and math skills while offering colorful, wacky art to enjoy. Students will absolutely love figuring out the puzzles in this book and reading works by well-known poets. Try using this book during a math lesson to foster both reading and mathematical skills
Okay...maybe a 4 is a little high, but I did enjoy this book... and it helped me realize that I need to brush up on some of the classical poems! Clever poems that are written in the form of a classic poem, with the twist of a math riddle to be solved. (I did take the time to solve them all! in my head!!) I would like to read (or reread) the original poem. Back matter with brief information on the different poets. Enjoyed the fun illustrations as well. :-)
This book struck me as too contrived. It's a very clever premise, but I don't think kids would appreciate the parodies of the poems. Sometimes I felt the problems were a bit confusing. You could have students do something similar; take a "famous" poem and rewrite to include a story problem, even illustrate it. I felt like the "Robert Frost's Boxer Shorts" was included just to acknowledge middle school humor. The illustrations are very good.
Liz Benitez
Grade Level: 4-5 grade

Patrick Lewis combines known poems and math in this great book for children. His poems are inspired by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Shel Silverstein, and Emily Dickinson. In the poem there is a math riddle and on the bottom of the page is the answer. This is a great way to combine poetry and math. Teachers can use this as a warm up before a math lesson or have students create their own poem with math problems in them.
Amaaaaaaaaaaazing! I love love love J. Patrick Lewis! He is a genius! Popular poets and their famous poems are used as the inspiration for silly poems that contain math puzzles. Some math problems are easier than others, and some require the reader to think back on using formulas (i.e. perimeter and area). The art was vibrant and fun. The poems are excellent read aloud and the math puzzles make for a fun extension activity. Must read!
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J. Patrick Lewis is the current Children's Poet Laureate. He has written more than seventy children's books, including Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses. J. Patrick Lewis lives in Ohio.
More about J. Patrick Lewis...
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