Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens book cover image

Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens

  • 1695

By: Cindy Neuschwander / Illustrated by: Wayne Geehan

A clever introduction to place value.

Sir Cumference and Lady Di planned a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, but they didn’t expect so many guests to show up. How many lunches will they need? And with more guests arriving by the minute, what about dinner? Sir Cumference and Lady Di have to figure out a quick way to count the guests to bring order to the party.

Sir Cumference and his friends have been entertaining young and old alike for years as they introduce important math concepts with clarity and humor.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Cindy Neuschwander, author

Cindy Neuschwander is a native Californian, but she has lived in many places, including Germany, England, Austria, and Hawaii. As a mathematics education specialist, Cindy sought ways to make math fun, interesting, and comprehensible to her students. In 1992, while living in England, Cindy began working on her first book with this goal in mind.Sir Cumference and the First Round Table took five years to reach publication, but it remains a very popular book for its presentation of math concepts as well as for its amusing and exciting story. It has been followed by further adventures of Sir Cumference and his family. In her spare time, when she isn't writing or dreaming up new math adventures, Cindy enjoys activities with her family.

Read more about Cindy.

Wayne Geehan, illustrator

Wayne Geehan, a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston, has been illustrating books, board games, and jigsaw puzzles for over 20 years. When he isn't painting in his Massachusetts studio, he enjoys being with his family, reading, and researching his family's genealogy.

Read more about Wayne.

Editorial Reviews:

School Library Journal

Sir Cumference and his wife, Lady Di, are back in another math adventure. As the hosts of a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, the couple needs to organize a growing number of guests for events to run smoothly. After several fumbling attempts to count the crowd, Sir Cumference realizes that the simplest way to figure out the total is to group the guests into tens, hundreds, and ultimately thousands. This system allows the royal celebration to take place without a hitch, resulting in a happy ending for all. Children will enjoy the lesson built into this tale and identify with the birthday-party theme. While the story can be enjoyed independently, most youngsters would benefit from sharing the book with an adult to fully understand the place value system. The math concept is explained in more detail in an author’s note. The painterly acrylic illustrations convey the action with humorous exaggeration and amusing details (the depiction of a farmer and his wife is reminiscent of Grand Wood’s American Gothic). Libraries in which this series is popular will want to consider purchasing this title.

The Midwest Book Review

Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens is a Math Adventure book for elementary age children that uses the king's surprise birthday celebration for a chance to learn to count by tens. Surprise party guest attendance must be counted quickly because Lady Di and Sir Cumference, the host and hostess for the birthday party, need to know how many guests to feed for lunch and dinner. In a comical series of preparation adventures, Sir Cumference and Lady Di count guests by tens, hundreds, and even thousands, using a system known as "place value" for their numbers. How many guests attend in total, and does the gloomy king finally smile and enjoy his birthday party? Inquisitive budding math minds will want to know, so pages will painlessly turn and numbers will effortlessly be learned in Sir Cumference and All the King's Men, a math masterpiece!

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Continuing the adventure of Sir Cumference and the Lady Di Ameter with a place-value focus, this tells the story of guests arriving for a surprise birthday party for the king. When large numbers of people start to appear,so does the problem of getting an accurate count for lunch and dinner acommodations. Several methods are explored before the idea of creating groups of tens, hundreds, and then thousands are introduced to garner and accurate count.

The book also includes the idea of writing large numbers in expanded notation. This book is engaging and an excellent way to incorporate literacy and mathematics. The biggest strength of this book is its introduction of counting and the importance of having an organized system for counting. Used in tandem with the other books in the series, students are introduced to different math topics with a familiar cast of characters. After the story, an additional page makes more connections between the story and place value, with suggestions of ways students can use the imagery in the book to help understand the value of a big number the next time they see one.

I recommend this book, as well as other in the series, to teachers looking for an engaging way to incorporate math and literacy into their classroom.


ISBN: 978-1-57091-727-1
ISBN: 978-1-57091-728-8

ISBN: 978-1-60734-555-8 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-132-1 PDF
For information about purchasing e-books, click here.

Ages: 8-12
Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 9 1/2

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
The Sir Cumference Math Adventure series