I love children’s literature. You can learn just about anything and everything you need from a children’s book. I love to use books to introduce concepts. This is one of my strong suits. My Math coach loves that I do that. And I did just that when I used this book, Among the Odds & the Evens (2001), written by Priscilla Turner and illustrated by Whitney Turner to introduce the concept of odd & even numbers to my students during a math lesson. My students loved it and the companion book, which I will review later, called The War Between the Vowels & the Consonants.
This book is perfect for introducing the concept of odd and even numbers, but as with many books, the audience is much greater than that. Even if younger children don’t fully understand what’s going on, they will still like the illustrations. Older children will like how clever the author is. It is a cute little amusing story.
When I first read this, I had to have it. Well, I encountered a bit of difficulty because this particular book and its companion book is out of print. I have seen this book sell for as much as $192.00 in hardcover on Amazon. I was lucky enough to find it on Alibris.co.uk in softcover for $7.95. Although I prefer a hardcover book, I had to weigh my choices- $7.95??? $192.00?????????????? The choice was obvious. I may luck upon it at a swap meet or garage sale one day in hard cover, but for now, I’m satisfied with my $7.95 softcover.
Now on to the review. X & Y, two adventurers from the Land of Letters, crash land their Aerocycle into a village- the Kingdom of Wontoo (1,2). Ever the observant ones, they notice that the inhabitants strangely resemble numbers. Even stranger, X, the studious, observant type, notices that the inhabitants seem to be divided into two distinct groups, with some being orderly, predictable, and even-tempered. Y, ever the adventurer, notices that others revel in peculiar dress and behavior weirdly. One might even call them odd.
As the adventurers are dining, they notice that the Even Wontoois only have even children. Even odder is the fact that the odd Wontoois also have even children. Even stranger, when one parent is odd and the other is even, the children turn out odd.
X, who thinks that it’s quite un-letterlike, is curious as to why this happens, decides to ask if odds ever had odd children like themselves.
“Well,” continued X, “it makes no sense to us. In the Land of Letters, A’s have a’s, B’s have b’s. Everyone has children like himself. And that’s how it should be.”
“I’m sorry if our ways offend you,” 3 said politely but firmly, “but there’s nothing odd about Even children being a product of an Odd pair. Even you must see that.” (This was the part where I told my students to listen up because I was going to ask questions. They really got the concept of odd & even from this book.)
The second biggest priority for X & Y after fixing their Aerocycle, is to get the Wontoois to see things their way. They then set about on their quest of trying to get the Wontoois to see things their way. The Wontoois are appalled. Their custom of Good Manners is the only thing keeping them from calling the Letters rude, interfering fools. They hold a secret town meeting to discuss the fate of X & Y.
What happens to X & Y? Are they banished from the Land of Wontooi? Do the Wontoois finally see things their way?
Well, I guess you’re just going to have to read the book to find out. Let me know how you like it!