Splitting the Herd: A Corral of Odds and Evens

Overview

Miss Emma's cows just can't stay put! Each time they wander into Cowboy Kirby's yard, he uses odd and even numbers to count the herd. Then he sends all the evens back to Emma and keeps the odds for himself. Kirby doesn't notice that his herd keeps getting smaller while Emma's grows larger. Emma doesn't want to hurt her friend's feelings by explaining his math mistake. How will she solve their problem with odds and evens? Count on Emma for coming up with a surprise ending!

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Overview

Miss Emma's cows just can't stay put! Each time they wander into Cowboy Kirby's yard, he uses odd and even numbers to count the herd. Then he sends all the evens back to Emma and keeps the odds for himself. Kirby doesn't notice that his herd keeps getting smaller while Emma's grows larger. Emma doesn't want to hurt her friend's feelings by explaining his math mistake. How will she solve their problem with odds and evens? Count on Emma for coming up with a surprise ending!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
This concept book about skip counting features neighbors, Miss Emma and Cowboy Kirby, each with ten cows. The cows ignore the dividing fence, wandering as they please. When all twenty cows are happily munching hay on Cowboy Kirby's land, he comes up with a solution. He numbers the cows. The even numbered critters will belong to Miss Emma and the odd numbered ones are his, but, of course, the cows do not stay in one pasture, so the numbering continues, each time with a smaller group until Miss Emma has fifteen cows and Cowboy Kirby ends up with only five. In the meantime, Miss Emma and Cowboy Kirk are meeting daily for discussions about their wandering cows as they eat delicious home baked cakes. Finally, Miss Emma bakes a wedding cake. The two pastures are combined and the cows begin to multiply. The story told in rhyming verse, accompanied by lively, humorous illustrations will appeal to young children. The basic concept, however, is confusing and will require additional explanation with a teacher or parent. Information for such a purpose is provided at the end of the book. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 1-2

This muddled rhyming tale aims to help children understand the concept of skip-counting. Miss Emma and Cowboy Kirby each have a herd of cows that fences can't keep apart. In an effort to split the herds and keep them on their respective sides, Cowboy Kirby, using skip-counting (1-3-5; 2-4-6), assigns the even-numbered cows to Emma and takes the odd-numbered cows for himself. As the cows continue their escapes, the two ranchers, trying to figure out the math and cows, meet and begin spending time together. Finally, with evens and odds completely mixed up, the two decide to marry and bring the herds together. While the cartoon art, cute cows, and subplot of the two neighbors finding love are endearing, the math story line (even with the author's note at the end) will be confusing for kids and parents alike.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Neighboring ranchers Emma and Kirby use simple arithmetic to keep their cattle sorted out. Miss Emma's cattle like to rove onto Cowboy Kirby's spread, which don't bother him none. He lines up all 20 of the cows, and suggests they divide the makeshift herd in two. (The cows are helpfully numbered as a visual aid for young mathematicians.) This proves to be a temporary solution, which leads to several more opportunities for lessons in counting, odds-and-evens and even multiplication. When the couple finally solves the problem (by combining assets with an old-fashioned wedding), Emma bakes a five-tier cake and everybody celebrates. An addendum page gives a lengthier lesson in counting and numbers. Julian's illustrations are bright, with cattle faces as friendly and expressive as the humans' and the occasional playful background detail, and a good fit with Harris's bouncy rhyming text, which is packed with lessons that go down easy. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822574668
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 820,447
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Trudy Harris is the author of several successful math concept books, among them Pattern Fish, Pattern Bugs, 20 Hungry Piggies, and Jenny Found a Penny. She currently teaches kindergarten in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where she lives with her husband.

Russell Julian studied illustration at Anglia University in Cambridge, England. Russell has illustrated several board books and picture books. He lives in North London.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    adorable story line

    I absolutely adored the storyline in this cute picture book! Part of Millbrook Press' MATH IS FUN series, this book teaches ages 5-8 all about odd/even numbers in a fun way. Miss Emma's cows like to visit Cowboy Kirby's yard. Since all cows look alike, he suggests to Emma that they line up all the cows in a row. He counts them and gives Emma the even-numbered cows and he takes the odd-numbered cows. As the story progresses, the reader will see the math mistake Kirby makes as the cows go back and forth and his herd grows smaller. There's a fun 'second' story going on here in addition to the math lesson. You'll just have to read this book to discover the fun ending. I give this book a high five for the clever storyline and rhyming text author Trudy Harris does to perfection plus the adorable illustrations created by Russell Julian. Gayle Jacobson-Huset Managing Editor Stories for Children Magazine

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