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)