Grade 1-4–Enormous numbers are often difficult for children to conceptualize, but Clements makes the process enjoyable. The book begins and ends with a single dot. In between, readers not only view the other 999,998, but also pick up some fascinating tidbits of information. Each page features an array of dots arranged in a rectangular shape with an illustration superimposed on top, all set against a warm-hued background. One or two boxed facts help readers visualize particular amounts, and the spreads have arrows pointing out how many dots have been presented so far. The examples bring the concept home while reflecting kids' interests: There are 525,600 minutes from one birthday to the next one or To eat 675,000 Hershey's bars, you would have to eat one bar every two minutes, nonstop, for more than 234 days! Reed's humorous and eye-catching digital artwork adds to the appeal. The phrase It's 238,857 miles from the Earth to the moon is illustrated with a cow in space gear making its famous jump, while the fact that an arctic tern will fly more than 650,000 miles in its lifetime shows a camera-toting bird complete with Panama hat, suitcases, and passport clutched in wing. Pair this imaginative title with David M. Schwartz's classic How Much Is a Million? (HarperCollins, 1985) for a tremendous math lesson.–Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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K-Gr. 3. With one million dots printed on its pages, this large-format picture book shows how big a million really is. Along the way, the text and illustrations offer plenty to look at and think about besides the rows and rows of tiny dots. On each page, Clements selects one number and connects it to a numerical fact--for example, "The sooty tern can fly nonstop for 87,600 hours after it leaves the nest--that's ten years on the wing!" A picture related to the idea is superimposed on the dots, giving the colorful images a distinctive, pixilated look. While the pictures are often well conceived, and the varied how-much, how-far, how-long, how-many factoids are diverting, the gee-whiz quality of the numerical information loses some oomph along the way. Still, teachers will appreciate the visual interpretation of the numerical concept. While this is not a replacement for David Schwartz's How Much Is a Million (1985), it offers an alternate interpretation of the subject. Carolyn Phelan
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