Ed Southall is an MA council member, teacher and geometry puzzle fan. His latest book, Geometry Juniors is a book of prompts and puzzles aimed at a young reader.
Geometry Juniors contains a large collection of geometry prompts to encourage discussions and problem solving. Each prompt features a picture of a geometry situation, some questions you might pose about the situation, and some delightful illustrations (by Nicole Lane). The introduction of the book suggests these could be used to start conversations between a child and a parent or teacher.
People who follow Ed on Twitter or have worked though his Geometry Snacks books (co-authored with Vincent Pantaloni) will know that Ed has great taste in geometry puzzles. This shines through in this book, with some really great situations to get you thinking. Many of the prompts have been carefully selected to catch some common misconceptions, and to lead the reader to question these. I’m a particular fan of the coordinates section, in which many of the prompts suggest adding a point to make a certain shape before suggesting that there may actually be multiple different points that could’ve been added.
This is a very good book for anyone looking for mathematical tasks to do with a child, and the tasks have obviously been very carefully designed to promote deep mathematical thinking. Many of the tasks lead to open ended exploration, and encourage the reader to keep asking “what if”. It’s the kind of book that I wouldn’t be surprised to find a future mathematician citing as the book that made them fall in love with maths.
I’d highly recommend this book to teachers or parents looking to engage someone in mathematical conversations and to encourage mathematical thinking and problem solving.