The book is an English translation from Hebrew of a very popular in Israel guide for parents eager to help their kids to understand math. It reflects the author's unique experience as both a research mathematician and elementary school teacher.
Part 1 discusses the nature of mathematics, its power, its beauty, and the source of the difficulties in studying it. Part 2 introduces the reader into principles of good teaching. Part 3 is an easy going, informal guide, filled with personal stories, historical anecdotes and teaching suggestions, addressing all twists and turns of basic arithmetic taught in grades 1 through 6.
To a mathematics educator, the book sends two important messages. One is that basic mathematics, although unsophisticated, is rather deep, consisting of many neatly aligned layers, none of which can be skipped without the danger of causing "math anxiety"; The other is that good pedagogy depends not so much on various tricks and cognitive theories, but on thorough understanding of basic mathematics and its neatly layered structure. And the book teaches the reader -- a parent, or a teacher -- to really understand the subject and this structure.
By Alexander Givental, Prof. of Math., UC Berkeley and Sumizdat.
There is a Wikipedia article about the book.
Reviews of the book can be found in: "Opinion" column by Linda Seebach of "Rocky Mountain News" for March 24, 2007; Homeschool Math blog by Maria Miller; "Read This!" column of "Online Book Reviews" by The Mathematical Association of America; the award-winning math web resource "Cut The Knot" by Alexander Bogomolny.