THE WARLORD’S BEADS by Virginia Walton Pilegard


Age Range: 6 - 8
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The clever fisherman’s son who solved The Warlord’s Puzzle (not reviewed) returns to get his father out of a pickle—inventing one of the most widely used accounting tools in the process. Tallying the warlord’s treasures might seem a simple enough task—but what with all the distractions at the palace, young Chuan’s father keeps coming up with different totals. Considering the warlord’s iffy temper, it’s a perilous situation, but Chuan saves the day with a device of carved beads strung onto sticks—a forerunner, as Pilegard explains at the end, of the abacus. As in Chuan’s earlier triumph, Debon evocatively depicts court dress and decorative details, but tends to exaggerate the facial expressions of his puppet-like figures to the point of caricature. Nor will the author’s scanty comments about place notation teach young readers how a true abacus is used. Still, capped with a diagram for a modern version of Chuan’s counting frame made of cardboard, pipe cleaners, and o-shaped breakfast cereal, this makes a good, if sketchy, story reminiscent of Stuart Murphy’s popular MathStart series. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-56554-863-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Pelican
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001


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