I made a mistake with this book. I judged it by its cover. I looked at it, assumed it would be a simple read, and opened Schwartz' book to be delightedly incorrect.
You Can Count on Monsters is a book that deserves your attention. Although I was initially uncertain of the concept, with each page I turned I became more excited about the possibilities Schwartz offers his readers. His idea is simple: teach children about prime numbers and factoring. Monsters does this and more.
The pages are filled with the numbers 1 to 100, each with its own special monster symbol. Prime numbers are special - they have their own identity, but all the composite numbers are a combination of their prime number factors interacting with one another. You must see the book to realize what a grand world Schwartz has created.
As a teacher, I am excited to add this book to my collection. As children work their way through the book, identifying each monster or combination of monsters that make up every number, they are bound to remember the number associations for years to come. I already have a plan in place to have students create their own prime number monster books, based on the work of author Richard Evan Schwartz.
You Can Count on Monsters is available for purchase now, and his website can be seen here (a must see if you would like a preview into Schwartz' world of monsters).