Ionica Smeets


Image by Sija van den Beukel

Professor of Science Communication - Leiden University

Maths & Life

My latest book is a children's book about mathematics that I made with children's author Edward van de Vendel and illustrator Floor de Goede. Maths & Life has been rewarded with a Zilveren Griffel and Bronzen Penseel. Check out the sample that David Colmer has translated to get an impression of our book.

What happens when you let a class of schoolchildren replace the boring arithmetic lessons with lessons concerning mathematical questions that are relevant to their own lives?

In this book, year 6 students rebel against their tedious maths textbook. They make an agreement with their teachers: this year they will do arithmetic lessons dealing with valuable questions related to their everyday life. Everybody will get to ask one question, and each week one question will be discussed. These new arithmetic lessons will change everything. Foto pagina 27

The questions include:
How do you win all games?
Is peeing in the shower actually 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

If you are a foreign publisher, you can contact our agent Elaine Michon for the rights of this book.

Foto Rekenen voor je leven
Illustrated non-fiction | 17 x 23,5 cm | 276 pages

Translations of Maths & Life

Servische vertaling

Brojevi koji život znače

Language: Serbian
Translator: Nevena Kukoljac
Publisher: Odiseja

Koreaanse vertaling

쓸모 있는 수학만 하겠습니다!

Language: Korean
Translator: Jung Shin-Jae
Publisher: Wisdom House

Koreaanse vertaling

Mes copains, les maths et moi

Language: French
Translator: Adrien Scharff
Publisher: Nathan

zwart-wit Rekenen voor je leven

[Not yet published]

Language: German
Publisher: Carlsen

zwart-wit Rekenen voor je leven

[Not yet published]

Language: Spanish (Mexico)
Publisher: Castillo

zwart-wit Rekenen voor je leven

[Not yet published]

Language: Chinese
Publisher: Yilin

Currently my other books are only available in Dutch and one in German.