In Rockliff’s rollicking tale, Jefferson jots down numbers everywhere he goes…Children obsessed with the early republic and with science may find this obscure tale entertaining.
Rockliff’s well-paced, wryly funny narration is enjoyable as well as informative (if Buffon “believed in chirpless chickadees and puny pigs, then so would everybody else”). Schindler’s familiar gravely humorous delicacy, in line and watercolor that sometimes echoes wood engraving with its hatching, is perfectly suited to the personable recounting of a polite historical feud. This would be a boon to early math classes or discussions about the importance of data, but it also serves as offbeat entertainment.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Schindler’s period illustrations, washed in faded color, depict the supercilious bewigged Buffon and an alarmingly limp moose carcass. Supplemental materials answer the outlandish questions Rockliff’s Jefferson poses and shed light on his “mania for math.”
Rockliff depicts a lesser-known side of Jefferson—the mathematician. The text reads well, and older children could handle the language on their own, even if some of the more tongue-in-cheek comments go over their heads. Schindler’s illustrations evoke a distinct sense of place and time…An acceptable addition for collections looking to make their Founding Fathers sections a little more interesting.
—School Library Journal
Rockliff’s light touch adds humor to the tale, while Schindler’s soft watercolors both mirror the text’s tone and give a sense of the times. Back matter answers Jefferson’s mathematical questions and includes a list of both primary and secondary sources.
—The Horn Book