# Equal Shmequal

What does it mean to be equal? Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war but they can't figure out how to make teams that are equal. Nothing works until Mouse starts thinking mathematically. Wonderful illustrations capture Mouse and her animal friends from whiskers to tails.  See more details below

## Overview

What does it mean to be equal? Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war but they can't figure out how to make teams that are equal. Nothing works until Mouse starts thinking mathematically. Wonderful illustrations capture Mouse and her animal friends from whiskers to tails.

## Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A small mouse observes a game of tug-of-war in the local playground. He thinks it looks like such fun that he takes the idea to his friends in the nearby woods. Using the rope left behind by the children in the playground, the animals proceed to tug. Mouse realizes the importance of both sides being equal just as the children had said as they played. The romp continues as a bobcat, a wolf, a rabbit, a deer, and a turtle also come by to join the game. The animals try several methods to have equal teams on each side of the rope, finally the seesaw helps them decide the weight for equally dividing the teams. This is a fun math adventure that will have kids chuckling as they read along. The animals are cute and laughable. The surprise ending will leave the reader with a smile in his/her face. The various definitions of the word equal are given on the last page. 2005, Charlesbridge, Ages 5 to 10.
—Barbara Youngblood
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Kroll takes a subject that is difficult to explain and presents it in a fairly palatable tale. Mouse and her friends decide to play tug-of-war after watching kids at recess. First, though, they have to decide how to make both sides equal. They try dividing up by meat-eaters and plant-eaters; then they try those that have fur versus those without. Neither of these solutions works. Then they try three animals on each side. Of course, the larger ones win. Finally, they line up on the teeter-totter, shifting sides until the board balances. With both teams equal, the effort to win the tug-of-war is also equal. Neither side is victorious until Bear is distracted by the buzz of bees. Though predictable in a number of ways, the story still has enough plot tension to keep children reading. The illustrations, done in pastel shades, have a certain charm that young readers will find inviting. At the end of the book, Kroll gives the four definitions of equal from the viewpoints of math, art, the law, and team sports. This is an additional purchase for those collections needing more math-related books.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Forest animals learn the many meanings of "equal" through a game of tug-of-war. Mouse initiates the game with Bear, but then realizes that he forgot the important rule of equal teams. As more animals join in, they debate about how to divide evenly and test their ideas. Meat versus plant eaters doesn't work, nor does furry versus not furry or even halves, since they are different sizes. Bear's response to it all? "Equal Shmequal." Gradually the animals learn that just because the numbers are equal does not mean the teams are equal. Mouse's solution is to equalize the weights, using a seesaw to balance the teams. When Bear and Mouse pull against Turtle, Rabbit, Bobcat, Wolf and Deer, neither side moves-until Bear gets distracted. Moral: "What really matters is equal effort." A final note tells readers "what it means to be equal" in math, art, law and team sports. Detailed watercolor illustrations clearly show readers what is equal and what is not, especially as the animals fail at their early efforts. A cute look at what can be a difficult concept. (Picture book. 4-7)

## Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570918926
Publisher:
Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2005
Series:
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
112,719
Product dimensions:
8.62(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile:
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

## Meet the Author

Virginia Kroll has contributed more than 1500 items to juvenile magazines. She travels throughout the country speaking to children about writing multicultural books. She is the author of many children's books, including WOOD-HOOPOE WILLIE, A CARP FOR KIMIKO, SWEET MAGNOLIA, JAHA AND JAMIL WENT DOWN THE HILL, HATS OFF TO HAIR!, MASAI AND I (Four Winds Press), and BUTTERFLY BOY (Boyds Mill Press). Virginia lives in New York with her family.

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