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You Can Count on Monsters
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You Can Count on Monsters

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  33 reviews

Using a unique teaching tool designed to motivate kids to learn, this volume visually explores the concepts of factoring and the role of prime and composite numbers. The playful and colorful monsters are designed to give children (and even older audiences) an intuitive understanding of the building blocks of numbers and the basics of multiplication. The introduction and ap

Paperback, 244 pages
Published March 15th 2010 by A. K. Peters (first published 2010)
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Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
The author has written a wonderfully illustrated book about the first 100 numbers and their characters (prime monsters). All you need to know is how to multiply whole numbers together (like 2 and 3), and this book will put you well on your way to understanding factor trees, primes and composites, and how to find prime numbers. With imaginative monsters and colorful drawings, this would be a great book for homeschoolers and educators to have on hand to make factoring not-so-scary. (except for tho ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Jasmine rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: n-a
Okay I read this entire book. No for real I read the introduction and the afterword about how to find prime numbers under 100. *

Here's the thing this book does not make math easy. I mean multiplying is complicated enough without jumbling up a zillion monsters. I think the book is interesting in a graphic design kind of way for adults.

But giving this book to a child... that would just be mean.

*I thought if I read the introduction the book wouldn't be confusing anymore, not that children read in
Mary Ann
Sep 03, 2011 Mary Ann added it
Shelves: 4th, 5th, 6th, math
I'm torn between loving this book and wondering whether it complicates the whole issue of factoring. I love the visual, playful approach to math. I love the monsters, and the way of using the monsters to help show the factors that make up a new number. And yet... and yet the final illustrations don't help me see the way factors help make up a larger number.

I want to share with some math teachers and see what they think. So for now, no stars - still undecided.
I'm so happy Jen recommended this book to me! I loved, loved, loved it!! It is juvenile nonfiction, and in a delightfully whimsical and artistic manner explains prime numbers and factoring. Absolutely adorable and clever. My fav was number 87 with its factors of 29 and 3. Check it out and tell me you favorite! If my boys were younger, this definitely would have been a Christmas gift.
Learning about prime and composite numbers should be this much fun. Although some of the monsters are difficult, I can see students spending fun time with this. The preliminary and supplemental materials should help parents and teachers who use this with children.
Lissie Moore
I would have loved to have a book like this when I was younger. It is a great and fun way to teach kids about numbers and math where they can be intersting. This would be a great book for probably 3rd graders. A great interactive book that kids can read together!
Phil Scovis
From the other reviews, I see there is some question of whether prime factorization is suitable material for picture-book-aged children. My opinion is that it's always good to begin with the assumption that children are able to understand.

Maybe it depends on the child. All I can say is that my own children (ages 5 and 7) spent the evening drawing factor trees, and creating their own monster pictures for numbers past 100. They also loved counting the tentacles/edges/hairs on the prime-numbered mo
Coolest math book ever.
This book was recommended to me by an English teacher; her 9-year-old son was fascinated by it. Each number is depicted by a monster; composite numbers have the accompanying factor tree on the left side, with a composite monster on the right. Prime numbers have more unique monsters that are not simply divided into smaller parts, like composite numbers that can be factored.

This book could be used on several different levels, and in some cases, I wasn't sure how the monster (prime ones in particul
Anne Harlan
A little explanation, very few words, and a lot of pictures to celebrate numbers. I think his monsters are too complicated, but the idea of building composite numbers out of elements of the factors is brilliant.
May 26, 2014 Laura added it
Shelves: education-books
This is such a great book for helping kids learn factors, prime numbers & composite numbers, and multiplication -- all visually with factor trees and pictures of "monsters."
This book about factors has great visuals that show groupings for multiplication. The dots can also be counted individually for students who have yet to learn to skip count.
This book is about prime numbers and factoring using numbers up to 100. I really did not enjoy the illustrations in this book because each monster has a defining feature that relates to its number and I found a few monsters whose characteristics were not clear enough to tell the corresponding number. I think it would be a little difficult for young children to keep track of the corners of the monsters while counting. I did like how the author had visuals of factoring, using groups of dots to sho ...more
A cute math book for precocious children, You Can Count on Monsters illustrates the concept of prime factorization by combining "monsters," representing the prime numbers, in strange and silly ways to form composite numbers. Also includes an carefully explained version of Euclid's proof that the prime numbers are unbounded (i.e., that there is no largest prime number).
Mary Conroy
This is a great resource for teaching and reviewing number facts! The text is fun and colorful, and the monster illustrations are really cute. This book explores the relationship between numbers and the different fact families. It would be great for a read-aloud or to lead into a lesson about number relationships.
Thanks friends for the suggestion. This is exactly how my sons brain appears to think about numbers & he ate it up. He has looked at it numerous times. Even quizzed me, I asked him why he was quizzing me, as the numbers & factors were right in front of him, he said to ensure that it was accurate!! Ha!
This book would be a great resource for teaching prime numbers and factoring. The explanations are succinct and might not offer enough information for some learners to feel comfortable with the concepts. I think it would be better for extension activities rather than introducing.
Schwartz draws each prime number as a monster, and then all the composite numbers as, appropriately, composites of the prime numbers that they factor into. So 14 is the 7 monster eating the 2 monster. It's really a beautiful book, but what age group is it really for?
Christine Turner
Presents numbers 1 through 100 and multiples.

Great visual guide for learning prime numbers and factoring.
I would give this 5 stars but I find the "monster" illustrations to be strange. Other than that, it's a winner for people who are visual learners.

Kelli Dana
Mar 13, 2012 Kelli Dana added it
Shelves: math
*This book is great for teaching or introducing prime/composite numbers and factoring.
*Great for showing students visually how factoring works and the role that prime/composite numbers play in the world of mathematics.
Mar 14, 2011 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
As seen on NPR (via Game Theorist).
Erin Price
Prime numbers and factorization have never been this much fun. Grownups and kids will gain a newly complete understanding of how the first hundred numbers relate, and meet some scary monsters along the way.
A great book about multiplication, prime numbers and monsters. Max is learning
multiplication at school so the timing was perfect for looking at this book. I definitely recommend this book.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I am not certain who this book is for? There is a brilliance but at the same time - something very confusing with this book. On some level, it almost seems more complicated that it should be.
Kelly Morgan
This book is great for multiplication. It shows the reader several ways to explain and figure the product. Would use this book with my 3rd graders , who may have a hard time with multiplication .
Tori "Carina"
Jul 19, 2014 Tori "Carina" rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2nd grade and up
Intriguing way to look at multiplication and we will likely bring out again when daughter studies prime numbers and factoring.
Angie Schall
I picked it up to study for my upcoming math class. Cute book for kids
A very interesting idea, plus the monsters are quite fabulous.
This is a really fun book. I love the pictures.
Mary Lee
Brilliant! Check my review on the blog 6/28/11.
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Richard Schwartz grew up in Los Angeles. He wore only blue clothes between the ages of 7 and 11. He spent his youth obsessively playing tennis until video games distracted him. He majored in math at UCLA, got a PhD in math from Princeton, and is currently the Chancellor's Professor of Mathematics at Brown University. His research interests lie in geometry and dynamics. He likes to do mathematical ...more
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