on April 9, 2001
This book is an amazing way to teach the math concept "factorial" to even very young children. Anno begins with a jar, which contains 1 island, which has 2 countries, each of which has 3 mountains. The story continues like this until 10 is reached. I love the way the pictures are arranged within borders on the page as many times as that of the number of objects being discussed. The explanation of 10! in the back of the book is also very helpful in the lesson being taught. Even if children do not understand the concept being taught, they will certainly appreciate the detailed colored drawings and imaginative story! Lots of praise to Masaichiro & Mitsumasa Anno for their creation.
on January 3, 2005
This picture book is easy to read, and presents two math concepts: the first is counting to ten. The second is factorials: If there are three kingdoms in two countries on one island, then how many kingdoms are there altogether?
Imagining some of the silly scenes (there are how many cupboards in how many rooms?) is a delight.
This book -- or at least the last half of it -- is best for kids who have been introduced to at least basic multiplication facts, but younger kids will enjoy counting and looking at the pictures even if the rest of it is over their heads. It is, therefore, a great book to read to your middle/upper-elementary student while younger siblings are looking on.
on April 13, 2003
I start my unit on counting principle with this book. I give the students a worksheet to keep track of how many islands, rooms etc. there are. The final question is how many jars are there. I usually have 3 or 4 students who catch on to the factorial concept and find the pattern. These are the ones telling me to read slower!!! It's exciting for students to see the math unfold in the second half of the book... after the story is over and they can begin counting little red dots (jars).
on June 10, 2000
This is a wonderful book that teaches a valuable math skill, and at the same time inspires the imagination. With every page this book opens up a bit of the world Anno has created until it is so big that it is hardly fathomable, and yet Anno makes it understandable. What a great book for kids (and adults!).
on September 24, 2004
I read this book to a first grader and a fifth grader. The first grader immediately observed that with the turn of each page, there was one more picture, i.e., mountains, kingdoms and villages, etc., ending up with 10 jars. The next concept of factorials was not as obvious, but he was curious about the multiplying dots. To the fifth grader, the concept of factorials was much more apparent and he found the pattern easily. This book helps with multiplying skills as well as the mathematical concept of factorials. Also, there is further explanation as to the concept of factorials at the end of the book.
on October 29, 2010
I attended a workshop on combining mathematics and children's literature. This was one of the books we used. It's a simple story that encourages multiplication practice. All children love to be read to; here's a chance to hook your young mathematician through an engaging picture book.
Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar isn't meant to be a "who-done-it" mystery. It's a cummulative tale, delightfully illustrated, that takes each product and turns it into another factor. Lower grades can enjoy the story and only attempt the multiplication of the first few levels. Upper grades can take the multiplication much further. The final product is a surprisingly large number.