aRHYTHMetic and aRYTHMétique

aRHYTHMetic cover
aRHYTHMetic back

Arythmétique (en français)


Stone, Tiffany, Winters, Kari-Lynn, and Sherritt-Fleming, Lori. (2009). aRHYTHMetic: A book and a half of poetry about math. Illustrated by Scot Ritchie. Vancouver: Tickle Trunk Publications (2011) First published by Gumboot Books in 2009. 42 pages. Ages 4-9. ISBN 978-0-987052-0-4.

Kittens plus puppies plus shapes to explore. Add bison, a princess and dragons galore. Seven math poems with a rhythmical beat equal fun that will bounce you right out of your seat!

Also published in French as aRYTHMétique, translated and adapted by Christine Jutras-Tarakdjian (Tickle Trunk Publications, 2011). First published by Gumboot Books 2009.

Un livre (et demi)de poésie sur les mathématiques! Des chats, des chiens et des formes à additionner Un bison, une princesse, des dragons en abondance Sept poèmes mathématiques qui battent la cadence Voilà autant de choses pour vous amuser!

Ideal for home or classroom use, these rollicking rhymes explore basic concepts of arithmetic in new and engaging ways. Catch the mathematical beat with the title poem, “aRHYTHMetic.” Count by two’s with “Teacup Pups” and “Kitty Chat.” Learn about ordinal numbers from a bison that loves being “Third in the Herd.” Discover “The Shape of Things” all around us. Roundup “Rot-TEN Dragons” into groups from ten to one hundred. And help “Princess Estimation” guess the number of spots on her new Dalmatian. These seven math poems by Tiffany Stone, Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming, illustrated playfully in full colour by Scot Ritchie, are guaranteed to equal fun that will bounce you right out of your seat! We have online videos of the first book launch, held April 2009 at Science World in Vancouver, featuring the Oscar-worthy stage performances of all three authors. Videos are 24 minutes long in QuickTime format. Download small movie (28MB) or large movie (124MB), and photos of the book launch.



Brief mention in Vancouver Sun, 3/24/2009:

There are many fabulous books out there that connect early numeracy concepts with early literacy. Vancouver-based publisher Gumboot Books has a number of books that combine poetry and mathematics, including the new title “aRHYTHMetic”. For more titles, check out Pat Dickinson’s article “Choosing Books You Can Count On” available online from the Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.


    Crocs, Acrostics and Math. Review by Carol-Ann Hoyte, in Canadian Children’s Book News 32:4 (Fall 2009), pp. 22-23

    See scan of magazine article (PDF). With a pencil, pen, computer or even a typewriter, children’s poets paint word pictures which often prompt us to think of ordinary people, places and things in surprising and refreshing ways. Tiffany Stone, Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Kari-Lynn Winters give arithmetic a rhyming and rhythmical makeover. Through the anthropomorphization of crocodiles, Robert Heidbreder removes a young child’s real-life fear of these creatures. Avis Harley discusses African wildlife in a new and markedly different format.

    Math and poetry may seem like strange bedfellows, but the two converge in aRHYTHMetic, a clever collection of seven rhyming poems which introduce basic mathematical concepts.

    Tiffany Stone wrote three of the book’s poems. The title poem can be read by two voices – with one child / group reading the first column and a second child / group reading the second one. This rhythmic response continues until they reach the last line of the poem which they read together. In Stone’s “Third in the Herd,” a bison ruminates on the perks of being number three: “I’m third in the herd. / It’s second to none. / Third in the herd is / NUMBER ONE!) In “Princess Estimation,” the title character wants to know how many spots her dalmatian pup sports on its fur. Using the skills of counting, estimation, and multiplication, she comes up with an answer.

    Like Stone, Kari-Lynn Winters has penned three selections. Furry, four-legged housemates noshing on treats star in her “Teacup Pups” and “Kitty Chat”- two poems which introduce the concept of counting by twos. In “The Shape of Things,” she describes two-dimensional shapes found in nature: “Undersea. / There they are. / Oval shell / and five-point star.”

    “If you look v-e-r-y closely, / when they think you’ve left home, / you can count rot-TEN dragons] that sneak out to roam.” In Lori Sherritt-Fleming’s “Rot-TEN Dragons,” a child left home alone spies 10 dragons as they emerge from their hiding places. The number of creatures increases by tens until there are 100 of them. The dragons retreat to their hiding places, ten by ten, when they detect the child’s parents nearing home. This 72-line poem, presented across 18 pages, is the book’s longest poem.

    This lighthearted collection offers a subtle and innovative way to turn number-loving kids onto poetry and poetry-loving kids onto numbers. Youngsters will delight that animals, a perennial favourite, appear in five of the seven poems. Scot Ritchie’s playful artwork makes the poems come alive and fills the pages with action without overwhelming the eye.

    Ritchie’s art has previously graced the pages of poet Robert Heidbreder’s See Saw Saskatchewan and Eenie Meenie Manitoba. In Heidbreder’s new collection Crocodiles Play! illustrated by Rae Mate, the author returns with more reptilian romp. Here, Heidbreder hosts a rhyming croc-o-block celebration of sports. His seven poems double as riddles as they each describe a sport without naming what it is.

    Marlene McLaren, teacher

    Today I read your delightful book aRhythmetic to my Grade 1 students. You and your co-authors certainly know how to reach the minds of young children in such a creative and fascinating way. Not only does this book entertain, but it teaches.

    At first, I thought the content would primarily focus on arithmetic; however, I am so pleased to see an emphasis, as well, on higher level vocabulary.

    I often teach a special spelling unit on words that have “-ation” as an ending. Fabulous! I can now use your book as a springboard to my lesson. You include such words as “estimation, celebration, Dalmatian, information, approximation, and nation.” These higher-level words are used in such imaginative ways! I also will use your book when introducing ordinal numbers, skip counting by tens, and multiplying and dividing by ten.

    Thank you for your collective energy, your creative minds, and your infectious enthusiasm for children, reading, and learning.

Author visits

Lori is available to visit schools, libraries, birthday parties, workshops … Please see more about author visits.

Spelling of title

* This book is spelled aRHYTHMmetic in English (two ‘h’s) and aRYTHMétique (one ‘h’) in French. Not arythmetic, arhithmetic, arithmetic, arythmatic, arhythmetique, arhythmétique, or arhythmatic.