Vampire threes. Dragon fives. Toothy twos. When Frankie tries to take his math quiz, number monsters are everywhere. Skipping problems doesn’t help. Drawing wings and fangs on the numbers doesn’t either. When Frankie tries to eliminate his number sketches, he loses his last eraser. Frankie has to turn in his quiz without a single answer on it.
Fast forward to the next day. Everyone in class has to go pick up their quiz from Miss Gordon, everyone except Frankie. She instead asks to see him after class. When Frankie tells her his mind just blanked during the quiz, she offers him a second chance. Frankie’s relieved until he realizes that means he has to face the quiz again. His family discovers what happened at supper that night. While his parents make it clear that math is important, it seems like everyone is keeping him from studying that weekend. His friend Kenny wants to play, mom needs to shop and dad has to bake. How is Frankie supposed to do well on his quiz?
From cover to cover, Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace is an engaging read. In Frankie’s worried daydreams, number monsters come alive in the land of Arithmecca. The illustrations are great to pour over, particularly the “Playground of Pain” Frankie’s sister sets up in the backyard for exercise. The narration makes me smile, and the family relationships are fun. Argyle, Frankie’s dog, is adorable as always.
This would be a great book to share with second or third grade. I would also like to share this book as part of test preparation.