Sir Cumference and the Viking's Map
written by Cindy Neuschwander; illustrated by Wayne Geehan
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
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Radius and his cousin Per are riding through a forest in Angleland without a map. Being lost, they decide to set up camp on a hill before the sun sets. Per pulls away some branches which reveal a door. Hearing the voices of highway robbers in the distance, Per and Radius decide to go inside the house. Opening a barrel, they find a map with two axes that had been designed for Xaxon Yellowbearyd, a fearsome Viking. It is a grid map with a starting point of 3,0. Staying one step ahead of the vicious highway robbers, Per and Radius follow the number clues for the X axe and the Y axe. Their journey leads them to a misty lake where they encounter the ghost of Xaxon Yellowbearyd. He leaves them with a chest filled with the "treasure of the greatest measure".
The Sir Cumference series of books are known for their good humor and clever storylines that exemplify a math concept. This seventh book in the series is more of the same, which is great news. Students will enjoy sorting out the puns and connecting their math knowledge about coordinate geometry with the information in the story. You could combine writing and math by asking students to create a coordinate treasure map and write a story to go along with it. My students really like these smartly written books, and they are valuable resources in explaining math concepts.