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A Corral of Odds and Evens

by Trudy Harris & illustrated by Russell Julian

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8225-7466-8
Publisher: Millbrook

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)