Toads and Tessellations by Sharon Morrisette
(Charlesbridge Math Adventures)

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Enzo is the son of a great magician, however unlike his father, his spells create chaos instead of order. What really interests Enzo, more than books about magic, are books by and about the lives of famous physicists and astronomers like Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler. Enzo dreams not of becoming a magician, but a mathematician instead. When Tessel, the village shoemaker, is called upon to make twelve identical shoes out of only one piece of leather, Aida, the shoemaker’s sister, goes to Enzo’s father for some magic to help her brother. With Enzo’s father out of town at a magic convention, it’s up to Enzo to help Aida and Tessel out of their predicament. A spell snafu leads Enzo and Aida to a method of forming patterns without gaps or overlaps, and they discover that math, not magic, may be the answer to their problem. Sharon Morisette’s accessible text introduces readers to the concept of tessellations, while Philomena O’Neill’s illustrations offer a clear visual to what tiling is—children will enjoy finding the tessellations hidden throughout the images. Back matter includes a glossary and notes about tessellations, Galileo, and Kepler.

About Sharon Morrisette

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Sharon Morrisette has written on subjects from jet engines to semiconductor chips. Toads and Tessellations is her first children's book. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.Philomena O'Neill has illustrated numerous books for McGraw-Hill, Harcourt, and Pearson. Equal Shmequal is her first book with Charlesbridge. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Published July 1, 2012 by Charlesbridge. 32 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The shoemaker Tessel insists it can’t be done—but by disassembling one kind of shoe, trimming the pieces into geometric shapes and rearranging them, the young folk somehow manage a pattern that fits a dozen shoes (of a different kind, but never mind) onto the leather exactly.

Apr 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Toads and Tessellations (Char...

Publishers Weekly

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In an inventive but somewhat pedantic story about math, Enzo—a wizard’s son—struggles to perform spells, which only result in messes.

Jul 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Toads and Tessellations (Char...

City Book Review

Enzo is the son of the village magician, but try as he might, he can’t seem to learn the magic spells his father tries to teach him.

Sep 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Toads and Tessellations (Char...

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