Equal Shmequal book cover image

Equal Shmequal

  • 795

By: Virginia Kroll / Illustrated by: Philomena O'Neill

A mathematical tug-of-war

What does it mean to be equal? Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war but they can't figure out how to make teams that are equal. Nothing works until Mouse starts thinking mathematically. Wonderful illustrations capture Mouse and her animal friends from whiskers to tails.

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Author & Illustrator Bios:

Virginia Kroll, author

Virginia Kroll attended Canisius College and the State University of New York at Buffalo. She was formerly an elementary school teacher and has raised six children of her own. It was Virginia's love of children that led her to begin her career as a children's writer in 1984.

Read more about Virginia.

Philomena O'Neill, illustrator

Philomena O'Neill has worked as an illustrator for more than 15 years. Equal Shmequal is her first book with Charlesbridge. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

Read more about Philomena.

Editorial Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews

Forest animals learn the many meanings of "equal" through a game of tug-of-war. Mouse initiates the game with Bear, but then realizes that he forgot the important rule of equal teams. As more animals join in, they debate about how to divide evenly and test their ideas. Meat versus plant eaters doesn't work, nor does furry versus not furry or even halves, since they are different sizes. Bear's response to it all? "Equal Shmequal." Gradually the animals learn that just because the numbers are equal does not mean the teams are equal. Mouse's solution is to equalize the weights, using a seesaw to balance the teams. When Bear and Mouse pull against Turtle, Rabbit, Bobcat, Wolf and Deer, neither side moves--until Bear gets distracted. Moral: "What really matters is equal effort." A final note tells readers "what it means to be equal" in math, art, law, and team sports. Detailed watercolor illustrations clearly show readers what is equal and what is not, especially as the animals fall at their early efforts. A cute look at what can be a difficult concept.


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ISBN: 978-1-57091-892-6

ISBN: 978-1-60734-155-0 PDF
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Ages: 5-8
Page count: 32
81/2 x 91/2

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