The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
I'm a bit of a number geek. When I'm looking for books to get for my nieces and nephews (real and honorary) I try to stay away from the loud noise making toys and the battery operated ones in favor of toys of the more educational variety. This book, "The Number Devil" tells the tale of a young math hating boy who comes to love math through a series of dreams. It's light enough that kids enjoy it, and has enough wit that those who read it to them won't be completely bored either. It's perfect for the little mathlete or aspiring mathlete in your life!
I'm terrible at math, but I've always been intrigued by the apparent simplicity lying beneath that jumble of formulas your high-school teacher was always reciting with glee. There is reason in math, and math, interestingly enough, is how the universe is defined by the sciences. But enough of that. Look at that title. Look at that little devil with the pencil in his hand. It's a story about a (you guessed it) bad math student who is haunted every night by a devil of numbers. Each dream has our temperamental devil showing some of the cooler sides of math, with literal interpretation. Fibonacci sequences, prime numbers, the golden ratio and more are all discussed very simply and in a kinda cute way. Did I mention it's completely illustrated? If you know a smart kid who hates math, get them this book. It's a quick and easy read with lots of pictures that introduces you to some of the more fascinating aspects of numbers. While it seems aimed at say, 10 and up, I think adults should read this too - learn a little about math, and you may just answer that Trivial Pursuit question or win the million dollars on that game show. You never know.