A Remainder of One


When the queen of her bugs demands that her army march in even lines, Private Joe divides the marchers into more and more lines so that he will not be left out of the parade.

When the queen of the bugs demands that her army march in even lines, Private Joe divides the marchers into more and more lines so that he will not be left out of the parade.

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A Remainder of One

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When the queen of her bugs demands that her army march in even lines, Private Joe divides the marchers into more and more lines so that he will not be left out of the parade.

When the queen of the bugs demands that her army march in even lines, Private Joe divides the marchers into more and more lines so that he will not be left out of the parade.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As they did in One Hundred Hungry Ants, Pinczes and MacKain apply numerical division to a practical problem-and explain it in an entertaining, visually emphatic way. Keeping to the insect theme, Pinczes introduces the ``25th Army Corps,'' a regiment of 25 beetles on parade. Their blue bug queen ``likes things tidy,'' and when the bugs march two by two, she notices that one bug brings up the rear. The unfortunate Joe has to stand aside rather than be a ``remainder''; on the days that follow, Joe tries dividing the squadron into symmetrical rows of three, then four and, finally, five, when he is at last accommodated. Rather than endorse conformity, this rhyming tale focuses on Joe's search for a solution. And lest squadron-like precision trouble readers, each big-eyed ``bug-soldier'' has a unique patterned shell. MacKain even ensures that the same beetle characters-one with a pointy nose, two wearing glasses, etc.-appear in every spread, allowing readers to play spot-the-bug. Rendered in dusty blues and pasture-green with warm yellow, red and pink accents, her linocut-style art vibrates with energy. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature
A Bug Army parade seems like the right thing to do on a very hot day in this story that sets out to explain the math concept of a remainder in division. The queen bug is displeased when her army of twenty-five bugs marches by in two columns of twelve bugs each because that leaves a remainder of one. The remainder bug, Joe, is also distressed by his lack of a partner. So he sets out to arrange the Bug Army into rows and columns in such a way that he is no longer a remainder. The book is set in rhyme, which keeps the story flowing. The artwork is colorful and suggestive of whimsical woodcuts on each page. The book's rhyme and illustrations would appeal to a young child, but the math concepts are not appropriate for the same aged child. The illustrations are fun but not clear enough to aid the student old enough to be learning the concept of remainder in division. 2002 (orig. 1995), Houghton Mifflin Co, Ages 3 to 8.
— Ben Ingel
Children's Literature - Pat Simon
All Joe wants to do is to march with the other twenty-four bugs in the parade. But the squadron's lines must be even and Joe always seems to be the one left behind. Determined to march past the Queen, Joe tries again and again to arrange his bug buddies into even lines. But there's always a remainder of one. When Joe finds a solution, he marches in the parade, the proudest bug in the troop. A charming introduction to division and remainders, A Remainder of One uses poetry and vibrant illustrations to teach children a sometimes confusing concept. A good read aloud selection.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-As they did in One Hundred Hungry Ants (Houghton, 1993), Pinczes and MacKain present a mathematical concept through rhyming text and simple illustrations. Here, an army of insects is planning a parade, but each formation that the squadron comes up with for its 25 members-two lines of twelve, three of eight, four of six-leaves Joe Bug standing alone, a remainder of one. After much cogitation, Joe finally comes up with the solution: five lines of five. The rhyming has an old-fashioned tone reminiscent of Peter Newell's books. MacKain's blue bugs are large, friendly looking, and anthropomorphic. The queen has blonde curls. This will provide a fine accompaniment to a math lesson on division. Children will identify with Joe's predicament-being left out again and again-and will certainly have a clearer understanding of remainders after reading this story.-Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
From the Publisher
"Pinczes and MacKain apply numerical division to a practical problem—and explain it in an entertaining, visually emphatic way." Publishers Weekly, Starred
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618250776
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 263,561
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Elinor Pinczes and Randall Enos have collaborated together on another book for children, My Full Moon Is Square. Ms. Pinczes is the author of several other books for young readers. She lives with her husband in Bozeman, Montana. Mr. Enos’s illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers for more than forty-five years. He lives in Easton, Connecticut, with his wife.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Learn the concept of multiplication in a wonderfuly written story

    This is a fantastic story for teachers and families to read for fun and to discuss the concept of multiplication. The ants have a chore to do. It seems overwhelming until one discovers a more efficient way to do it. That is just what the scary topic of multiplication is--a more efficient way to add big numbers. So many children would rather do repeated addition than learn to multiply. As a teacher, I've even seen kids in fifth and sixth grade use repeated addition. This ant shows how exciting it can be to get the job done faster by multiplying! From a teacher and mama.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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