Book Review: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

Rating: ★★★★☆

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table draws from the romance of King Arthur legends, spinning out a rather shallow story in order to introduce basic math concepts.  In this volume, King Arthur’s knights need to meet together to plan their defense against their enemies, but they cannot hear each other from both ends of their rectangular table.  Sir Cumference, together with his wife lady Di (from the town of Ameter), apply principles of geometry to change it to several new configurations, but their attempts are stymied until their son Radius spots a fallen tree which is exactly the right shape.

Neuschwander’s writing is clear and well-paced, and the illustrations are attractive enough that many children may spot the book and ask for it to be read aloud.  Without proper preparation they may be disappointed, because as a stand-alone story it’s rather a snore.  As a dressed-up math lesson, however, complete with mnemonic devices for recalling math terminology, it’s a clear winner.  If you like this book, you’ll probably enjoy others in the series too.

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Publication Information: Nueschwander, Cindy. Sir Cumference and the First Round Table. Geehan, Wayne (Illustrator). Sir Cumference; Charlesbridge. 1997. ISBN: 1570911525.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08
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Posted on February 19, 2011

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