Maths & Life

Over 25,000 copies sold!

Edward van de Vendel shortisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2024

Silver Pencil 2022 (Shortlisted for the Golden Pencil for Best Written Children’s Book)

Bronze Paintbrush 2022 (Longlisted for the Golden Paintbrush for Best Written Children’s Book)

Winner of the Children’s Jury Prize 2023 (Flanders)

English sample available

What happens when you let a class of schoolchildren replace boring arithmetic with maths lessons that are relevant to their own lives?
Grade Five at the The Brothers Lionheart Primary School rebel against their boring maths textbook. They make a deal with their teachers: this year they will do arithmetic that is important to everyday life. Everybody will get one question. One question each  week. These new maths lessons will change everything.

How do you win all games?
Is peeing in the shower really good for the environment?
Are all ice creams equally cold?
How do you get rich?

Letter king Edward van de Vendel and number queen Ionica Smeets wrote this book together; master illustrator Floor de Goede brought the children to life.

‘A uniquely uncategorisable book. (…) a lively, varied and above all extremely uplifting story featuring an ensemble cast (…) This diversity contributes greatly to the book’s vitality: far from a dry manual, it is full of surprises. (…) truly a book for everyone.’ ●●●●● – NRC

‘an original, often funny and warm-hearted book in which Edward van de Vendel cleverly acquaints you with each of the children while mathematician Ionica Smeets’s playful maths lessons unfold as the story progresses. (…) The explanations, in the guise of imaginative comic strips by Floor de Goede, are never boring thanks to the wonderful ‘acting’ they contain. (…) Add to that the exuberant, dancing language (‘His eyes dinged dents in her heart’) and you get the longest mathematical word problem you have ever read, but also the most fun.’ – Trouw

‘A topical, true-to-life celebration of maths unfolds before the reader’s eyes, with ample attention paid to trends and themes such as growing up, environmental awareness and social development. Wonderful, lively stories find form in colourful, mathematical cartoon strips based on an engaging, enlightening arithmetic method. A superb publication for parents, teachers and children, in which reading, thinking, doing, watching, learning and having fun all come together.’ – NBD Biblion

  • Illustrated Fiction | 276 pages | 17 x 23,5 cm
  • Rekenen voor je leven
  • Uitgeverij Nieuwezijds
  • Carlsen (German)
  • Castillo (Spanish - North & Latin America)
  • Dituria (Albanian)
  • Nathan (French)
  • Odiseja (Serbian)
  • Wisdom House (Korean)
  • Yilin (Simplified Chinese)