From School Library Journal
Grade 3–6—Robbins gives an amazingly thorough description of the numerous ways we measure. He begins by explaining the general history and the increased need for precise means of measurement as time progressed. A note regarding the metric system is included, and all measurements provided in the book include the metric equivalent, set off in orange. Each measurement is accompanied by a clear explanation; frequently a little history or interesting factoid; and a crisp, full-color photograph, diagram, or drawing. There are perhaps a few unnecessary inclusions (fathoms and cubits, for example), and there is no description of how temperature is measured. This is not a subject that will be immediately attractive to children, but will be good as a resource tool when examining the subject.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Handsome and sometimes intriguing, this fully illustrated book on measurement is also idiosyncratic and hard to peg in terms of audience. Although the format suggests elementary-school students, they will find the writing unnecessarily complicated at times. The book offers 3- to 14-page sections on measures of length/distance, area, weight, liquids, and dry capacities. The metric system is covered in a small-print sidebar. The short, conversational text offers some interesting historical facts, such as the origins and meanings of the terms furlong and carat and why the abbreviation for pound is “lb.”Though the section on time states, “A YEAR is the time it takes the Earth to revolve around the Sun“ approximately would be a better adjective than ”precisely 365 ¼ days.” The many high-quality illustrations vary from black-and-white photos of a man’s body (for inch, foot, span, hand, yard, and fathom) to a football-field diagram (for acre) to color photos showing baskets of produce (for bushel, peck, and pint). Although Robbins’ considerable photographic talents are well displayed here, the text falls short. Still, this volume will complement simpler, more traditional books on measurement. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan