Maths is Weird! / The Periodic Table is Weird!

These are new additions to Little Tiger’s Smash Facts series: thanks to the publisher for sending them for review.

Maths is Weird!
The Periodic Table is Weird!

Noodle Fuel, illustrated by Luke Newell
Little Tiger

The creators of these two funky books employ the assistance of a robot and an alien respectively to present the wealth of information contained therein.

The droids at GigaSmartZ BrainBot Academy, the super-weirdest school in the entire universe guide human students through a mathematical maze, stopping to discuss a wealth of vital topics relating to numbers, number operations, numerical patterns and connections(this includes prime numbers); fractions, decimals, percentages and how to work them out, ratios, probability: did you realise that in a group of 75 people, it’s a 99.9% chance two of them will have the same birthday? There’s a look at both the metric and imperial systems of measuring. Recently there was talk of reverting to the imperial system in the UK – perish the thought!
Geometry is the next theme but clearly without being able to do number operations, much of this would be impossible. Both 2D and 3D shapes are covered

and we’re introduced to some of the ancient philosophers and mathematicians who made vital contributions to mathematics. and there are also ten very weird maths facts and finally some activities to try.

If you want to understand more chemistry, especially about the periodic table, then it’s worth enrolling at Floortlesnazz Grobblesnot Intergalactic Scientific Institute. I’m certain that had my A-level chemistry lessons at school been a fraction as interesting as this whacky book, I wouldn’t have spent a fair bit of my time throwing a netball across the back of the lab to a friend, instead of paying attention to what was being said. In The Periodic Table Is Weird! every element from actinide to zirconium is covered, starting with hydrogen,

which is pretty amazing as to date that means 118 in total and the way the table itself is explained on the opening spread makes a whole lot more sense than ever it did when the periodic table was just a large chart on the wall occasionally referred to in the lessons I attended. And, I’m pretty sure that one had 10 fewer elements than the present one.
Both books are zanily illustrated by Luke Newell: this is light-hearted learning that readers are unlikely to forget.

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