Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland
Cindy Neuschwander, author
Cindy Neuschwander is a native Californian, but she has lived in many places, including Germany, England, Austria, and Hawaii. As a mathematics education specialist, Cindy sought ways to make math fun, interesting, and comprehensible to her students. In 1992, while living in England, Cindy began working on her first book with this goal in mind.Sir Cumference and the First Round Table took five years to reach publication, but it remains a very popular book for its presentation of math concepts as well as for its amusing and exciting story. It has been followed by further adventures of Sir Cumference and his family. In her spare time, when she isn't writing or dreaming up new math adventures, Cindy enjoys activities with her family.
Read more about Cindy.
Wayne Geehan, illustrator
Wayne Geehan, a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston, has been illustrating books, board games, and jigsaw puzzles for over 20 years. When he isn't painting in his Massachusetts studio, he enjoys being with his family, reading, and researching his family's genealogy.
Read more about Wayne.
A third math adventure, Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander, illus. by Wayne Geehan, chronicles Sir Cumference's son, Radius, in a quest to earn his knighthood by rescuing a king. The circular medallion (a protractor) given to Radius by his father and his mother, Lady Di of Ameter, aid him in examining every angle along the way; and readers get a circular medallion of their own with which to follow along.
School Library Journal
Radius, the son of Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter, ventures on a heroic quest to earn his knighthood. He first proves his ability to make a "knightly right angle," as Sir D'Grees has trained him, and then doubles the right angle to make a straight angle. So he is sent off with the family medallion, in the shape of a circle (cardboard medallion included), to resue the missing King Lell. Falling bridges, a cryptic riddle, a crocodile-infested moat, and a winding labyrinth all must be mastered before finding the king and his twin dragons, known as "Pair of Lells." Sir Cumference has something to offer a wide range of readers. Some will be too young to understand the math and the word puns but will enjoy the story of a knight rescuing a king. Others will puzzle over the math and how to use the protractor (medallion) to solve the riddle. This group will be helped by the somewhat primitively painted pictures, which give clues to these angled decisions and enhance the story of a brave knight on his quest. Still other children will note the story, groan at the puns, and wish for more sophiticated illustrations. This book has a stronger story line than that found in most math books. It should be useful to creative teachers and fun for the right child.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
This adventure story uses the language of angles. Its purpose is to help children learn vocabulary and to understand different types of angles and how they are used.
The main character, Radius, studies to be a knight. His mentor, Sir D'Grees, tells his student's parents that Radius is ready to attempt his knightly quest. They proudly agree. Radius must find the missing King Lell. Those who previously sought to find King Lell never returned. Radius vows to search until he finds the king. On the morning of Radius's departure, his parents presnt him with a family heirloom, a medallion in the shape of a perfect circle. Sir D'Grees counsels Radius to remember the teachings of the knightly right angle. Thus, Radius is off to succeed in his quest.
Children from third grade to junior high school may find this book suitable. Younger students will be entertained and willl learn the mathematics vocabulary, which should be of future value. For older students, the book can serve as motivation for cross-curricular work, such as writing a story using mathematics vocabulary and including appropriate illustrations. I used a similar book as motivation for an extra credit assignment. Students who enjoyed writing were able to use their writing strengths and creativity in art as a connection to mathematics.
I would recommend this book to teachers who enjoy reading to their students and who like to offer creative cross-curricular projects to their classes as opportunities for extra credit.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-558-9 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-150-5 PDF
Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 9 1/2