My son said he would like to be an architect and build skyscrapers, so when I saw Hilary Koll and Steve Mills's book Design a Skyscraper: You Do the Math, I thought it would be perfect! Well, he's about 5-10 years too old for this book. But for the target audience, early elementary, it would definitely fit the bill.
Design a Skyscraper is hybrid: a math book, and a book about building skyscrapers. Koll and Mills introduce facts about skyscrapers, then present a series of math problems related to skyscrapers. For example, readers learn about calculating the amount of fencing for a building site, the height of a staircase given the rise height and number of stairs, or how long it would take to clean the windows on a glass skyscraper.
I like the real-world application of math concepts, and the engaging way they introduce the world of skyscrapers. My son may never build a skyscraper, but Design a Skyscraper is bound to inspire some kids to build one. And even if they don't, they will have worked on some important math skills.
(One note: don't bother with the Kindle edition. . . The illustrations and layout didn't work out too well on Kindle.)
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!