The Cat in Numberland (Math book)


Summary: The Cat in Numberland is a hilarious book about the numbers. In this farcical short story, a puzzled cat’s two owners own a hotel called Hotel Infinity. This hotel contains all the numbers from 1 to ∞ . One day, a number called “zero” knocks on the hotel door asking for a place to lodge. However, there is no room called “Zero”. Mr. and Mrs. Hilbert, the hotel owners, try to solve a confusing puzzle to include the number “zero” with their number friends. Meanwhile, the cat is bewildered and doesn’t understand what is going on. Soon, many other characters come in hotel Infinity, including the alphabet and fractions.

Review: This book reminds us about the idea of infinity. It breaks down the intriguing concepts from two mathematicians uniquely: Georg Cantor and David Hilbert. They were the two great mathematicians who invented the concept of infinity, a number which lasts forever and ever. However, their papers are very abstruse, so many won’t understand what they have invented as infinity. This book helps you understand more about infinity and how it has no end. Instead of reading long textbooks about infinity and not understanding, it is much better to pick up this short book and laugh while comprehending the difficult concept. On the other hand, if you are older, you will probably not enjoy this 60 page introductory book. It might not increase your understanding of infinity as much as a textbook but it is a great book for young future mathematicians.

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