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How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane?: Answers to Your Most Clever Math Questions

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How many bees does it take to make one jar of honey? How many soccer balls would fit inside a hollow Earth? How many pieces of gum would it take to stick you to a wall and keep you there? Believe it or not, you can find out the answers to these questions yourself using math! Combining questions from real readers like you with surprising answers, How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit o How many bees does it take to make one jar of honey? How many soccer balls would fit inside a hollow Earth? How many pieces of gum would it take to stick you to a wall and keep you there? Believe it or not, you can find out the answers to these questions yourself using math! Combining questions from real readers like you with surprising answers, How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane? proves that numbers can be fun and that math is power.


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How many bees does it take to make one jar of honey? How many soccer balls would fit inside a hollow Earth? How many pieces of gum would it take to stick you to a wall and keep you there? Believe it or not, you can find out the answers to these questions yourself using math! Combining questions from real readers like you with surprising answers, How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit o How many bees does it take to make one jar of honey? How many soccer balls would fit inside a hollow Earth? How many pieces of gum would it take to stick you to a wall and keep you there? Believe it or not, you can find out the answers to these questions yourself using math! Combining questions from real readers like you with surprising answers, How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane? proves that numbers can be fun and that math is power.

30 review for How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane?: Answers to Your Most Clever Math Questions

  1. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Geez. How I ended up in this position I’ll never know. Me. A born and bred liberal arts major. The kind of person who managed to go an entire four years in college avoiding any classes that had even the faintest whiff of math to them. I wasn’t one of those kids traumatized by it or anything. In many ways math was, for me, more of a non-starter. It didn’t figure into my worldview or daily life or really much of anything above and beyond the classes I was required to take to graduate. When I grew Geez. How I ended up in this position I’ll never know. Me. A born and bred liberal arts major. The kind of person who managed to go an entire four years in college avoiding any classes that had even the faintest whiff of math to them. I wasn’t one of those kids traumatized by it or anything. In many ways math was, for me, more of a non-starter. It didn’t figure into my worldview or daily life or really much of anything above and beyond the classes I was required to take to graduate. When I grew up I used some of it. Most of it? Not a jot. I became a children’s librarian and pretty much figured my time with math was over and done with. Fast forward to 2013 and suddenly I’m serving on a committee. Not just any committee either. A math committee (the Mathical Award). A committee dedicated towards getting good, fun, high-quality math books into the hands of kids. Hunhuna? Hubba wha? How did this happen? Who knows, but here I am and now I find that I not only like math books for kids, I’ve a nose for sniffing out the ones that are actually interesting. Little wonder that I recently picked up Laura Overdeck’s latest math-related fare How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit On a Plane? Picked it up, I say, and haven’t looked back since. Some of you are looking at the cover of this book and rolling your eyes heavenward. Not because you don’t like math, but because you figure you’ve seen this kind of thing before. Something that declares that it makes math fun, huh? Lemme guess. You open it up and it has all the glitz and flair of your standard school textbook, with a dry as dirt text to match. Or, much worse, it tries too hard, filling its pages with a kind of forced gaiety, as if by acting excited it might transfer that feeling through the very fibers of the pages themselves. Those kinds of books come out every single year and they are, to put it plainly, intolerable. Well put aside your prejudices and give this book a second glance, my friends. In How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit On a Plane? Overdeck hands readers a wide variety of curious questions. “How many pieces of gun can stick me to the wall and hold me there?” “When will I be a billion second old?” “If I were as strong as an ant, how much could I pick up?” Her answers come complete with math, wittily presented, beautifully designed. At the end Overdeck provides “7 Slick Tricks to Amaze Your Friends” for a little mental math, as well as copious sources and backmatter. Math done right. In many ways, it appears that Guinea Pigs has borrowed a page or two out of National Geographic’s playbook. I don’t know if you’re familiar with National Geographic’s books for kids but through much hard work and clever use of white space, NG has established itself as the go-to place for quickie facts. Whether they’re churning out joke books, early chapter series about animal rescues, or big hardcover beauties filled with lush full-color photos (this is National Geographic we’re talking about, after all) there’s something for everyone in those pages. And yet fascinatingly they’ve never even attempted books that discuss math. Not once, as far as I can determine. Into, what I can only describe as, a gaping void comes Laura Overdeck and her jam-packed guinea pigs. Like NG books there are abundant photographs to be seen here (though they're more of the stock photo variety). And almost more importantly than that, like NG a clever book designer (in this case one Raphael Geroni) took pains to make the insides as enticing as possible. As a result, at the beginning of each page is a nicely delineated question portion, surrounded by pertinent images. Consider now the case of Laura Overdeck. A rare bird, to say the least. Outfitted with a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, her resume would not normally allow you to peg her as some kind of children’s book guru. And yet, even as I say this, the woman has pretty much cornered the market on children’s books that seamlessly integrate math into the everyday lives of children. With her Bedtime Math series, for example, she has worked to give math a natural space in a child’s brain. Math so casually created that a kid would never dream that you could go for years without coming up with such equations. In many ways Guinea Pigs feels like a natural output of the Bedtime Math series, with one important difference. Visually, the book is leaps and bounds better than the books that made Overdeck a hero to so many. Now I like the Bedtime Math books just fine, but even as I found the content intriguing I found the art and illustrations unmemorable. That’s part of what I like so much about this new book (series?). Not only do the questions confound in a right pleasing way, but the design of the pages make you want to keep turning them. But let’s talk text for a moment here. I keep getting distracted by the images when what I should really be praising as well are the words that surround them. You can look as pretty as a picture all you want, but if your text is a snorefest don’t expect kids to follow you to the wide and wonderful world of mathamania. Overdeck splits her book into six chapters, each with a different nonfiction theme. The last chapter, “Now Do It In Your Head!” ups the ante, daring the kid readers to take their math to the next level. As for the questions in each chapter, I was reminded of the XKCD book What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. This is essentially a younger, slightly less silly, book along the same lines. Some of the questions don’t require much outside information, but most require Overdeck to provide some research. For example, to the question “How many raindrops does it take to fill a glass of water?” we have to be told that a raindrop is 2 mm across with a radius of 1 mm. Overdeck then works out its volume and goes from there. Since this isn’t a textbook, Overdeck doesn’t make the reader figure out the math themselves but it would be easy to adapt this to a home or school (or fun, darn it) curriculum, if needs be. And I should probably note that some of the questions really don’t have much math to them at all. “Which wind blows faster, a tornado or a hurricane?” is answered by facts more than anything else. So there is a bit of filler here and there, that’s for sure. It seems crazy to say, but I honestly feel that for all that we children’s librarians like to believe that we’re living in some kind of a golden age of children’s literature (particularly when it comes to nonfiction) math books for kids lag horribly behind the times. Why is this? It’s quite simple. To write a good math book you have to care about the material. And sad as it is to say, most writers aren’t math enthusiasts, for all that they can string two words together. That sometimes leaves the mathematicians to try to fill in the gaps, but without a true literary bent to fall back on, their books can sometimes come across as dry and bland. This is why we need more folks like Laura Overdeck. The math is good and the writing charming. Neither one of those two factors is ever a given. When you can run across them together, though, grab on with both hands and don’t let go. And when you give this book to an interested kid, don’t expect them to let go either. For ages 9-12.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Yusko

    I am such a nerd. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ella

    Zajímavá kniha, na kterou jsem narazila náhodou v práci. Pro děti možná zajímavější, ale i tak jsem docela ráda, že vím, kolik morčat by se mohlo vejít do letadla. Upřímně mě spíš bavilo číst ty odpovědi a ne matematické výpočty, protože matika a já se nenávidíme, nicméně mladším dětem by to matematiku mohlo ukázat v jiném světle.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    While math teachers will simply adore this informative book, so will those of us who often find ourselves interested yet confused by terms such as pi, diameter, and radius. In this well-written and engaging book, filled with questions many of us have probably asked ourselves, the author uses math to provide the answers. The questions that are posed came from actual youngsters who submitted them to the author's Bedtime Math website. The book contains six chapters, and readers will surely be inter While math teachers will simply adore this informative book, so will those of us who often find ourselves interested yet confused by terms such as pi, diameter, and radius. In this well-written and engaging book, filled with questions many of us have probably asked ourselves, the author uses math to provide the answers. The questions that are posed came from actual youngsters who submitted them to the author's Bedtime Math website. The book contains six chapters, and readers will surely be interested in learning about how many bees it takes to make one jar of honey, how many tennis balls it would require to fill the moon, and how many balloons would be needed to lift a child into the air. The last chapter encourages readers to do mental math, and highlights seven tricks involving numbers that allow them to show off their math chops to their friends. After reading this book and thinking about all the solutions, I had a whole new appreciation for math and wished that my teachers had had this book, complete with its colorful images and large font that adds to its visual appeal. If you are an elementary or middle school math teacher, you simply have to have this book. I hope that Laura Overdeck will consider writing a volume two and three containing even more questions and solutions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Overdeck, Laura How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane?, 130 pages. Feiwel and Friends, 2017. $17.99 Content: G. This book answers all sorts of interesting and fun questions regarding numbers. Each page spread has a question from a kid, such as: “How many balloons would it take to carry me into the air?” or “How many ladders would it take to get to the moon?” Then the author proceeds to answer the question using math equations and sometimes the author takes the question to the next level or bre Overdeck, Laura How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane?, 130 pages. Feiwel and Friends, 2017. $17.99 Content: G. This book answers all sorts of interesting and fun questions regarding numbers. Each page spread has a question from a kid, such as: “How many balloons would it take to carry me into the air?” or “How many ladders would it take to get to the moon?” Then the author proceeds to answer the question using math equations and sometimes the author takes the question to the next level or breaks it down further. This book is visually appealing with great graphics and different color fonts. The format is easy to skip from the question to the answer if you don’t want the play-by-play of the math. The math equations are a bit complicated and for upper elementary level kids, but lower elementary kids will enjoy the answers and fun facts. EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. EL – ADVISABLE. Reviewer, C. Peterson. https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky B

    A collection of curious questions gathered from children and answered with math. This kind of reminds me of a kid version of What If?. Entertaining tidbits for the curious. (And some solid math too.) The questions in this are both silly and serious, helpful and just fun to know. I like that the author breaks down the steps of how to answer the questions using math (and often shares tricks how to make the math a little easier shortcuts are included in the back of the book). The math in here A collection of curious questions gathered from children and answered with math. This kind of reminds me of a kid version of What If?. Entertaining tidbits for the curious. (And some solid math too.) The questions in this are both silly and serious, helpful and just fun to know. I like that the author breaks down the steps of how to answer the questions using math (and often shares tricks how to make the math a little easier shortcuts are included in the back of the book). The math in here usually involves multiplication and division, sometimes geometry, often unit conversions. It may make some kids' eyes go crossed but if the math overwhelms you, you can still see the answer and marvel at things like the insane number of guinea pigs it would take to fill an airplane or how many people would need to hold hands to encircle the Earth. The layout is quite attractive, and should draw in more readers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Edmunds

    This book takes fun and unusual questions from children and helps them answer those questions through math. The beginning of the book explains a few basic math principles, such as what is pi or a diameter. The bulk of the book answers the questions, starting with the question in the title. The reader will not only learn the answers to questions like, "How many spiders are there in the whole world?" (Hold onto your hat...it's 19 quadrillion!) But he or she will also learn the math principles to a This book takes fun and unusual questions from children and helps them answer those questions through math. The beginning of the book explains a few basic math principles, such as what is pi or a diameter. The bulk of the book answers the questions, starting with the question in the title. The reader will not only learn the answers to questions like, "How many spiders are there in the whole world?" (Hold onto your hat...it's 19 quadrillion!) But he or she will also learn the math principles to answering each question - from multiplication, finding the radius, etc. This book really makes math cool. I highly recommend this book for all ages.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mell Simons

    I received a copy of this book from Kid Lit Exchange in exchange for a review. All thoughts and options are my own. These may not have been questions I have ever been asked by my students, but I was definitely engaged in finding out the answers. This book of math questions and answers in perfect for a mathematically inclined student, probably most appropriate for ages 8 and up. The thoughtful explanations of the math problems make this book even more exciting. It's critical that students be allo I received a copy of this book from Kid Lit Exchange in exchange for a review. All thoughts and options are my own. These may not have been questions I have ever been asked by my students, but I was definitely engaged in finding out the answers. This book of math questions and answers in perfect for a mathematically inclined student, probably most appropriate for ages 8 and up. The thoughtful explanations of the math problems make this book even more exciting. It's critical that students be allowed to ask questions that they may need to find the answer to, and this book is a fantastic way to incorporate some problem based learning into the classroom.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Day

    Who knew? That thought is sometimes followed by "that was way too much math," which that I confess is not my favourite subject. It is my son's, which is why I found myself reading the book in the first place. I like the information found within each double page spread including the fact in Switzerland, it's illegal to own only one guinea pig because they are social animals. As a side note, 472,500 guinea pigs can fit on a 747 airplane. Who knew? Note: this book is brought to you by the same peop Who knew? That thought is sometimes followed by "that was way too much math," which that I confess is not my favourite subject. It is my son's, which is why I found myself reading the book in the first place. I like the information found within each double page spread including the fact in Switzerland, it's illegal to own only one guinea pig because they are social animals. As a side note, 472,500 guinea pigs can fit on a 747 airplane. Who knew? Note: this book is brought to you by the same people who created the other fabulous (if you can say that about math) books - Bedtime Math.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Not designed for a straight read-through, this takes some wacky questions and uses arithmetic to figure out the solution: How long does it take rain to fall onto our umbrellas? How many times do we blink during a movie? What's the fastest anyone can flip pancakes? Starting with pi and what to do with it, and ending with 7 slick mental math tricks, this makes playing with numbers fun and less intimidating. Based on the Bedtime math movement. Not designed for a straight read-through, this takes some wacky questions and uses arithmetic to figure out the solution: How long does it take rain to fall onto our umbrellas? How many times do we blink during a movie? What's the fastest anyone can flip pancakes? Starting with pi and what to do with it, and ending with 7 slick mental math tricks, this makes playing with numbers fun and less intimidating. Based on the Bedtime math movement.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    As soon as I saw the cover, I knew I would love this book. Math people everywhere will love it! I can totally see my students pouring over it and discussing it. So fun! ....and now I finally get what pi means! It answers all sorts of great questions and even has super good math tricks. This one is a keeper!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kermit

    3.7 stars Answers to interesting questions. Humans eat about 2000 pounds of food in a year; elephants eat about 91,000 pounds of food in a year. It takes raindrops about 33 minutes to land on us because they have to travel a long distance---which means that those rain clouds are really, really high up.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bethe

    Picked this one up due to title as a former guinea pig owner. Good browsing book for fun facts based in math. Resources in back, as well as some math tricks. Nit pick on page 9: talking about eagles picking up a 60 pound kid, but the photo looks like an adult that would obviously weight more than 60 pounds.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Very well done! This will be a great addition to my classroom library. The author explains all of the math vocabulary that might be unfamiliar to kids, and goes into each step of solving the problem. Plus, a lot of these questions are ones I can imagine my students from this school year's class asking me! Very well done! This will be a great addition to my classroom library. The author explains all of the math vocabulary that might be unfamiliar to kids, and goes into each step of solving the problem. Plus, a lot of these questions are ones I can imagine my students from this school year's class asking me!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cami

    This is a super fun fact book for my kiddos and got them thinking about math without any fuss. They loved telling me all the facts they discovered--like how many eagles you'd need to pick you up and fly away or how many pounds of food you eat every year. This is a super fun fact book for my kiddos and got them thinking about math without any fuss. They loved telling me all the facts they discovered--like how many eagles you'd need to pick you up and fly away or how many pounds of food you eat every year.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    This is a fun fact type book. I thought my son and I would enjoy it more but after awhile the numbers just seem so big that it’s hard to relate to. The illustrations and format were well done. Also reviewed on Kiss the Book blog.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Thank you Kid Lit Exchange Network for the review copy of this book! Opinion is my own! 😘 Super fun book of stats for curious kiddos! I've never wondered about guinea pigs on a plane before! Fun book to kickstart questioning with your students and to make math a little more interesting! Thank you Kid Lit Exchange Network for the review copy of this book! Opinion is my own! 😘 Super fun book of stats for curious kiddos! I've never wondered about guinea pigs on a plane before! Fun book to kickstart questioning with your students and to make math a little more interesting!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This is a fun, off-the-wall, trivia book for kids. It also incorporates math, helping kids realize that math can be fun and teaching them how to use math to answer all sorts of oddball questions.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bev Anderson

    Share with teachers for Math fun.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Bored by the 3rd page of examples.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This is a fun book to dip into with great questions and easy to follow solutions. A perfect classroom book and a fun way to engage kids in math thinking.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Krajewski

    My soon-to-be 2nd grade son absolutely loved this book. The math was above his head at times, but the questions were so intriguing! Great book for math and science fans.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Great problem solving & good for middle school and upper elementary grades.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    Great book for math buffs, readers who love crazy facts and world records.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sue Mosher

    Cool book with interesting questions. Good for kids with inquiring minds.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lilli Gilliam

    I solely picked this up because I thought it was like a cool Q&A. Batta Bing Batta Boo. I read the introduction and inwardly groaned. Math? I didn't read the parts with math in it, I just read the question and answer. I mean, I could be on jeopardy and they may ask me how long the longest carrot was. You never know.... I solely picked this up because I thought it was like a cool Q&A. Batta Bing Batta Boo. I read the introduction and inwardly groaned. Math? I didn't read the parts with math in it, I just read the question and answer. I mean, I could be on jeopardy and they may ask me how long the longest carrot was. You never know....

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather Jensen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lyndi

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