Click the cover to order your copy!
Illustrated by Daniel Postgate
This book was
in the UK as
The Essential Arithmetricks
by Scholastic Ltd 1999

The Awesome Arithmetricks

Suitable for ages 7 upwards

For people who aren't sure how sums work, this book explains the very basics. It starts with counting and then takes a hilarious tour through adding, subtracting, multiplying and even long division!

It's all made clear thanks to Pongo McWhiffy, the Gangsters, the utterly barmy pure mathematicians and there's a special guest appearance by Titus O'Skinty and his lovely assistant Gladys.

Don't forget to click the EXTRA links for more details that we didn't have room for in the books!


What are the Awesome Arithmetricks?

Van Gogh's paintings are worth millions of pounds. Of course if he hadn't bothered learning how to paint ( he could have just waited for the camera to be invented ) then he'd never be famous. Sums are the same - if you want to have serious fun with numbers then you've got to learn how NOT to rely on a smelly little calculator.

Back to the Sandpit

When you were three and learnt to count - that's the most important thing in maths. Don't underestimate it, or you'd never escape Professor Fiendish's diabolical scorpion trap.

Awful Addition

How to add long numbers, why zeros are important and meet the pure mathematicians who were so proud of themselves when they realised that 5 + 0 = 5

Some Sneaky Signs

Plus (+) and Equals (=) are easy enough. But how do you really use them, and what about the amazing "Not Equals" sign which helps you get all your maths homework right? This chapter includes monkeys and lions on see-saws, murderous medicine and how to make ugly equations prettier.

Sickly Subtraction

First we go back to the sandpit and find there's an undiscovered Zombie Ghetto buried beneath it, then we join the gangsters fighting it out in Luigi's Diner. Once you've got subtraction sorted out, you'll be ready for...

A Cracking Code

A bit of addition and subtraction is all you need to make really tough coded messages. Handy for the rude joke coming up later!

The Terrible Tables

You've GOT to know the times tables, but once you see the short cuts, you'll be ready for a game of ASSASSINS, and then you might even manage to solve Professor Fiendish's Morphing Maze. (Incidentally, this maze is so diabolical it nearly caused a punch up at the Murderous Maths office.)
EXTRA - Times Tables using your fingers!

Maddening Multiplication

How to multiply big numbers together, and the Hairy Green Spot Epidemic.

Some More Sneaky Signs

...which lead us to the Gateway of Mathematical Hell....

Diabolical Division

So far all the sums we have done produced nice round numbers, but now we find we get some Mean and Vulgar Bits! If you can handle remainders, decimals and long division then you're ready to meet Titus O'Skinty - the man who put the "ow" into game show. Finally there's the notorious rude joke to decode!

Smaller Trousers and The Golden Promise

Udd and Bladda, Pongo McWhiffy, Urgum the Axeman and Grizelda the Grizly all help to explain why you can swap some small round bits of metal and bits of dull looking paper for anything you want. The answer is MONEY!

When Nothing Means Something

Whether you're counting flies, dung beetles or rotten eggs, you need to know how to round off numbers

Go THIS way Go THAT way

Rough Sums and Going Mental

The quick ways to get close estimates to complicated sums. Learn how to impress the gangsters - but why you should decline their invitation to join them!

The Sneakiest Signs

Find out what some of the odd symbols mean including inequalities, square roots and factorials. You'll need them for....

The Fiendish Formula!

A final challenge from the diabolical one himself. Have you tried it? What you have to do is put the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 in the boxes, in such a way that when you work the formula out you get the biggest possible answer.
(The book explains exactly how to work out formulas like this).
Professor Fiendish himself got an answer of 76 and 4/5 ths, but can you do better? Have a try then check your answer...
EXTRA - The Fiendish Formula Answer

Oh No! Look...

You've just found out everything you need to open up a whole world of maths fun and magic but suddenly we've reached the end of the book. Never mind, now you're ready for any of the other books in the Murderous Maths series.


The Murderous Maths Bookshop

The Murderous Maths Books

Murderous Maths Main Index Page