Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert

Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert

by Cindy Neuschwander, Wayne Geehan

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The eighth book in the popular Sir Cumference series, SIR CUMFERENCE AND THE OFF-THE-CHARTS DESSERT introduces readers to different methods of collecting data.

Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter are in a pickle. The castle cook is sick and the Harvest Faire is coming up—who will make the special dessert for this annual event? Two bakers in town, Pia of

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The eighth book in the popular Sir Cumference series, SIR CUMFERENCE AND THE OFF-THE-CHARTS DESSERT introduces readers to different methods of collecting data.

Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter are in a pickle. The castle cook is sick and the Harvest Faire is coming up—who will make the special dessert for this annual event? Two bakers in town, Pia of Chartres and Bart Graf, are up to the task. But after sampling Pia’s delicious pies and Bart’s scrumptious cookies, Sir Cumference and Lady Di just can’t choose! They come up with a solution: hold a contest and let the townspeople choose the dessert to be served at the faire.

When Pia and Bart’s methods of tracking their votes fail, they each realize they need to come up with a better system. Pia places a colored candy around the edges of a pie dough and Bart stacks his cookie molds—each color candy or mold shape represents a different kind of pie or cookie. Thus, the pie chart and bar graph are born! But when the contest ends in a tie, Pia and Bart concoct a hybrid recipe that everyone enjoys.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Slim has always wanted to be a cowboy. He is so excited to finally be able to live out his dreams at the WJ Ranch that he commits it all to paper in beautiful poetry meant only for him (and the cows and horses who stop to listen as he recites under the night sky). When the cowboys find a stack of Slim's poems under his bedroll they insist he's not a real cowboy, and make him ride alone at the back of the herd during the next roundup. Slim is bound and determined to show the others that he is a real cowboy, but his attempts to ride, rope, and whip the herd into shape result in failure. Dejected, he heads for home, riding away from the herd and his dream. A sudden thunderstorm spooks the herd. They stampede toward Deadman's Canyon. In no time at all, they catch up with Slim, sweeping him along with them. Slim hangs on tight and begins reciting his poetry. The spooked cattle begin to calm down; he recites louder, and he is able to stop the herd at the edge of the cliff. With text filled with cowboy jargon, and watercolor and pencil drawings of the western desert landscape, this fun story will be a hit with would-be cowboys everywhere. An author's note about real cowboy poets and explanations of the cowboy slang follows the story. 2006, Charlesbridge, Ages 4 to 8.
—Pat Trattles
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Slim wants to be a cowboy but he can't saddle a horse or lasso anything, and, worst of all, he writes poetry. When the other cowhands tell him that cowboys don't "mess around with no fancy, perfumed words," he reluctantly puts his writing away to concentrate on real cowboy stuff. He does his best to prove himself when the group takes the cattle out on the open range, but he gets sent to the dusty, lowly place at the back of the herd. The dispirited Slim, having given up his dream, is headed back home when the cattle, spooked by a storm, stampede and overtake him. His poetry calms the herd and saves the day. This tale is chock-full of Western slang, similes, and verbs missing the letter "g," giving it a distinctive Western flavor that is fun to read aloud. Danneberg includes lush descriptions that give a poetic feel to the text and provide a nice segue into Cowboy Slim's poetry, but also creates pacing that can be a little slow. Apple's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are done in muted desert shades that perfectly capture the feel of the open range and make the landscape an integral part of the tale. The people and animals have comic expressions. The poems, set apart from the narrative text by their font and placement, blend seamlessly with the illustrations. This book is a great introduction to poetry and would work nicely paired with the work of Baxter Black, Cowboy Poet.-Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sharon M. Himsl
Move over boring chalk-board math lessons. Neuschwander and Geehan make learning about pie charts and bar graphs another fun math adventure in their latest addition in the popular “Sir Cumference” series. Lady Di and her husband Sir Cumference have a problem. The castle cook is ill and the Harvest Faire is about to begin, which means someone else must bake the faire’s Harvest Sweet. Two local bakers, Pia of Chartres and Bart Graf, are asked to bake several desserts. Pia bakes four pies and Bart bakes four batches of cookies. A taste test by the town’s people is then held to determine which dessert will become the Harvest Sweet. However, both bakers do a poor job of tallying the votes when the desserts are sampled. A curious cat and a hungry dog destroy the results. The bakers conduct another test, only this time they are more careful. The night before the totals are revealed to Lady Di and Sir Cumference, Pia and Bart spy on each other and discover that their most popular desserts have tied. One pie and one cookie are clearly the winners on the pie chart and bar graph they have drawn. Now what will they do? The problem is solved through math and the bakers’ cooperation. Pia and Bart combine their ingredients and bake the winning dessert, Cr?me de la Crumb. Geehan’s bold illustrations (acrylic on canvas) are rich in color and full of detail. Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 11.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest in Neuschwander's medieval mathematical series explores bar graphs and pie charts. When the royal cook falls ill, Lady Di of Ameter and her husband, Sir Cumference, must not only judge the Harvest Faire sweet contest, but also find bakers to bake the confections. Luckily, their town boasts two bakers: Pia of Chartres and Bart Graf. But their desserts are so good the royal couple cannot choose one over the other. They instruct the pair to give away free samples of their top sellers and keep track of the townspeople's votes. After several (repetitive) attempts at keeping track of votes fail, each comes up with a recording system that works. Bart makes piles of cookie molds--one for each vote--while Pia places a different colored sweetmeat around the edges of a pie crust. In the end, the two present their findings--a bar graph and a pie chart showing a tie for first--to the rulers, along with a new dessert they concocted together, a clear winner. Geehan's acrylic illustrations play up the stereotypical medieval clothing and setting, both he and the author eschewing accuracy for the storyline. More contrived than other books addressing the same concept; still, the familiar characters may help readers take the lesson to heart. (Math picture book. 6-10)

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Product Details

Publication date:
Sir Cumference Math Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Cindy Neuschwander is an elementary school teacher who loves teaching math. She also enjoys traveling, reading, and writing stories. She thought up the Sir Cumference series while visiting medieval castles in England. Cindy lives in Pleasanton, California.

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