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The Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Cartoon Guides)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  930 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
The Cartoon Guide to Statistics
Paperback, 230 pages
Published July 14th 1993 by HarperPerennial
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Apr 20, 2011 Pvw rated it liked it
Shelves: science
If you have ever seen a sheet of statistical formulas and are unfamiliar with it, they look like incomprehensibel nonsense. The notation system in statistics is pretty weird, and it lacks the more logical consistence that you find in regular algebra.

People who write about statistics have this same illogical twist in their minds. That is why most books on the subject spend whole chapters explaining easy stuff, and then make huge logical leaps in just one line, leaving the reader puzzled as to whe
Feb 06, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it
When a man lives alone, he invents ways to keep busy. One summer I decided I was going to become an AP statistics professor. Yes, I know. Anyhow, I spent that summer studying like you would not believe. This was one of the books I read.

This was a rather straightforward approach to statistics. While it has cartoons, there is real mathematics here. I swear!
Teo 2050
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Aug 24, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing
I adore Larry Gonick's Cartoon Guide series in general, but that is partly because I clearly identify their purpose. Don't think of this as a College level textbook in statistics because it isn't. It is rather an illustrated, extremely easy to read conceptual overview of statistics, the moral equivalent of Cliff note or a course outline but with cartoons and a certain amount of humor and history mixed in.

Do not underestimate the value of this if you are a student wanting to learn statistics! For
"chicken soup" for people who have to endure courses in statistics, it failed to make me fall in love with the subject, but enough to make we stood in awe with the level of obsessions some people have to measure our lives with numbers. Hooray to all statisticians who provide guidance to understand the world we're living in - but everybody need to remind themselves that we need further look into each phenomenon lest we get disoriented - don't blame the statistics for misunderstanding!
Ted Nadeau
Oct 14, 2008 Ted Nadeau rated it really liked it
There are many math courses that I should have skipped & just read this book instead.
Needs Excel worksheets & macros to help one enjoy/experiment. Might make them myself.
I bought much of the whole Cartoon Guide/History series & leave them near the kids.
Apr 07, 2009 Rohan rated it liked it
A nice basic review of statistics. I read through this with my stats text from college, looking up derivations/proofs of the important results discussed more intuitively in this book. I think this was a valuable approach, I certainly got more mileage out of this book with this kind of reading.
Apr 12, 2013 Thatsgreateric rated it it was amazing
"If you can't explain it simply you don't understand it well enough" and Larry understands his topic matters more than most tenured professors I know.
Mar 15, 2017 Swateek rated it liked it
A quick and clear way to get introduced to various terms in statistics. Liked the way cartoon series was presented in an easy way.
Apr 07, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brian by: Jon
(4.0) Actually not a bad refresher reference

I don't think anyone would learn statistics from this one, but it actually does pack in a fair amount of justification/explication in addition to some of the basics from the statistician's toolbox. I also have to admit that I never learned how to compute (or the real meaning of) p-values, Student's t-test etc., so was cool to see the motivation/~derivation of the tools there. Definitely fun read and if I needed to refresh my memory of some of the key c
Steve Carroll
Jan 26, 2014 Steve Carroll rated it it was amazing
Thought this one was great. It does a great job of gradual learning curve mixed with an emphasis on real world application but it is also unafraid to toss a little math your way. Not to mention it is really funny at times. I've been chewing up stat books lately as an attempt to refresh on these concepts for work. This is a great refresher and then I'd add Data Smart as a good extension to more modern issues (like clustering, and social graph stuff).
Sep 18, 2009 Martha rated it it was amazing
This is the default Christmas present book I'm going to give to parents with middle-school kids. I found it at the MP library's new book section, and it is worth looking at.

It starts out simple - illustrating the differences between median, mean and mode. By page 22, I got a little shaky, but it covers more than what I learned in a business math class in college.

This series also looks at American History, which may also be good.
May 13, 2013 Rohit rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, mathematics
Very good concept with impressive cartoon display. Basic concepts of statistics are explained well with a good examples and real life problems. You will not get bored while reading this book unlike other stereotypical statistics books. Authors' sense of humor is great and how they tried to incorporate it into the 'mathematical' cartoons is brilliant. Overall good book for the beginner students who have just started studying statistics.
Tara Lynn
Mar 27, 2012 Tara Lynn rated it it was ok
Borrowed from a friend as a quick reference to my statistics homework. While some of the illustrations are helpful, it's far easier to sit down with a tutor for explanations, than to try to understand the illustrations. This is better suited as a gift to someone who already has a rudimentary knowledge of statistics.
Oct 15, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: academic, mathematics
Oh, CGS. Apparently the only statistics textbook out there without terrible, glaring errors, according to my professor. I really can see the utility of this teaching method, especially for high school - but it doesn't have any practice problems! (what, me, complain about having no homework?) Good as a reference, but it should not be your only source for learning stats.
February Four
Feb 29, 2012 February Four rated it it was amazing
Fantastic review for my exams. Don't buy this expecting it to teach you statistics, but if you need a review or just want to see the big picture, this is your book.
Aug 25, 2015 Juan rated it really liked it
Shelves: pesquisa
O livro é bom, embora contenha mais fórmulas matemáticas do que eu imaginava.
Nov 20, 2016 Autumn rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-again
Who would have thought that a book on statistics could be fun? I wish that Mr. Gonick would teach at my school.
Bob Wallner
Mar 03, 2016 Bob Wallner rated it really liked it
Shelves: 6-sigma, statistics
Over the past six months I have really tried to focus in on learning statistics. I've watched videos, taken Six Sigma courses, and read various books on statistics. I somehow thought that an illustrated book of Statistics would make the concepts crystal clear and somehow magically easy. Boy was I wrong!

Cartoon Guide to Statistics is not for the light hearted. It still delves into the deep topic of statistics including formulas and rules. If statistics turned you off in the past, this book is not
Christian Crowley
My mum is going back to school and I may be helping her with a statistics class. I have yet to find a good, accessible and intuitive approach for learning statistics, and I thought this book might be a candidate. In fact I would only recommend this book to someone who has already been through a basic class, or perhaps as a supplement to a standard text. I was disappointed to see an illustration of a "math-phobe" being carted away in a straight-jacket after an overdose of mathematical formulae. T ...more
Andrew Lenards
Jul 27, 2009 Andrew Lenards rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this cartoon guide as much as the one for Genetics. I think Statistics is a tougher topic to cover, keeping all the notation straight was no easy task! I do feel like I have a better understanding of the overall topic. Over time, I become a little more comfortable with not understanding the "entire" topic, or current concepts; but pecking away at it with hopes of achieving total comprehension. One aspect that shows is the book was written in the pre-World-Wide-Web world. The only ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Gajanan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edu
Ok, I have to admit. This was the best book I read on the subject. I know people will claim that a lot of books contain more of the subject matter & will probably be correct. But this book made the usually abstract subject relate-able & more interestingly, Fun!.
Let's face it. No matter how interesting the subject is, if the book is not interesting enough, we don't read through it & end up absorbing nothing. This book may have skipped a few things (I honestly have no idea), but one th
Varun Rajwade
Feb 05, 2017 Varun Rajwade rated it really liked it
A quick, fun way to learn statistics. The concepts are explained using some funny illustrations. This concept itself earns the book a great review. The only drawback is that at times the explanations are hurried and it hard to follow the authors on those bits.

But overall, a great alternative to hugely verbose and boring stats books.
Jan 26, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school
If you're looking for this to replace your stats textbook, you're gonna have a bad time. However, if you need a conceptual overview of stats, then this is the book for you.

I teach a research practicum course at a science and tech high school, and part of completing their projects is analyzing their data using statistics. I foresee using this book to supplement my instruction to help those who can't quite wrap their heads some what a confidence interval is, or hypothesis testing, or proper sampl
Leland William
Jan 23, 2015 Leland William rated it liked it
A wonderful book that graphically illustrates the basics or statistics and probability. It is humorous and well written. My only qualm is that it isn't very rigorous. I don't think that rigor would be appropriate for this kind of book, but it would be interesting to see someone try. Great for reviewing your stats knowledge!
Aug 23, 2007 Mitch rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: intro stats students
This is a good fun way to learn stats. One thing that's really nice about it is that it is obviously very visual. if you are a visual learner this is a great tool to help you learn stats.

Also, don't fear that it doesn't go far enough. It goes all the way to regression which is about as far as most intro stats classes go.

Jan 18, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it
Gonick as always finds a clear, clever way to present the material he's given. Somehow, this ended up being even more mathematical than the Cartoon Guide to Physics, but suffered from typos and occasionally inconsistent notation. Still, a good way to get familiar with the basic terms & reasoning involved in the statistical methods described.
Hendrick Mcdonald
Detailed but a bit too detailed

The book is not light on equations. Half concept, half equations, but I feel that the points get lost in the details. It's not as well organized as I would have liked and the illustrations are mere flourish rather than really helpful to the understanding.
Mar 18, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it
Meh...the concept is sound, the cartoons are okay, and the examples are clever, but the definitions leave much to be desired for a book that is trying to make statistics easy for newbies. This book is used by my company for its Six Sigma training, and my thinking is that folks experiencing statistics for the first time, or even those with a little bit of knowledge, will struggle with this book.
Nawal Boghdady
Jan 12, 2016 Nawal Boghdady rated it it was amazing
Simply epic! This book is a must-read for anyone trying to understand statistical concepts intuitively. The hilarious examples and awesome cartoons make it impossible to put this book down, which you would never think can really happen for a stats book! Definitely recommend reading it!
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Larry Gonick (born 1946) is a cartoonist best known for The Cartoon History of the Universe, a history of the world in comic book form, which he has been publishing in installments since 1977. He has also written The Cartoon History of the United States, and he has adapted the format for a series of co-written guidebooks on other subjects, beginning with The Cartoon Guide to Genetics in 1983. The ...more
More about Larry Gonick...

Other Books in the Series

Cartoon Guides (10 books)
  • The Cartoon Guide to Calculus (Cartoon Guide Series)
  • Cartoon Guide to Genetics
  • The Cartoon Guide to Physics (Cartoon Guide Series)
  • The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry (Cartoon Guide Series)
  • The Cartoon Guide to the Environment (Cartoon Guide Series)
  • The Cartoon Guide to Sex
  • The Cartoon Guide to the Computer
  • Kartun (Non) Komunikasi
  • Cartoon History of the United States

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