When Mr Ruche, a reclusive Parisian bookseller, receives a letter from a long lost friend in the Amazon bequesting him a vast library of mathematical books, he is propelled into a great exploration of the story of maths, from brilliant Greek thinkers, such as Archimedes and Pythagoras, to the modern-day genius Fermat. Meanwhile Max, a deaf boy whose dysfunctional family live with Mr Ruche, finds a voluble parrot in a local fleamarket. He turns out to be a bird who discusses maths with anyone who will listen. So when Mr Ruche learns of his friend's mysterious death in the rainforests of Brazil he decides that with the parrot's help he will use these books to teach Max and his twin brother and sister the mysteries and wonders of numbers and shapes. Charming, fresh, with a narrative which races along, the novel takes the reader on a delightful journey through the history of mathematics.