Examples: If a million children climbed on each other's shoulders, they would reach higher into the sky than airplanes can fly; if a billion of them made a human tower, it would reach past the moon. Some of the concepts can best be understood if there is previous knowledge (like the distance to the moon) but this is on the whole a successful effort. Extensive notes in small print seem addressed to adults. Kellogg's bouncy, vibrant pictures, however, are colorful and funny and indubitably addressed to children. -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August 1985
Steven Kellogg['s] elements are play, story, detail, and exaggeration. These exuberant gifts give an electrical charge to David M. Schwartz's examination of the other end of the counting spectrum, the realm of huge numbers explored in How Much Is a Million? (Lothrop). Kellogg has created a whole adventure in pictures which faithfully interpret while expanding the text. Take a look at Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician starting his young friends on the wildly improbable task of counting to one trillion, a task which is to take two hundred thousand years. The dismal outcome is foreseen in the lower frame of the picture. All of the cast of characters in the upper frame will be long dead, from the unicorn, Moonbeam, to the Magician him self, not to mention Robert, Grace, Elena, and Sandro. Their gravestones stand in a row, inscribed with their names and images and decorated by the stars which are a continuing motif throughout the book. The tree is gone; night has fallen. So preposterous, but not sad; it is funny and also awesome. Furthermore it is true, as Schwartz's careful calculations at the end of the book demonstrate. Games and nonsense are frequently the delight of mathematicians, their proofs incontrovertible. Enjoy the heavy pyramid of calendar boxes, the wizard's pointed hat and long white beard, Sandro's body extruding from the frame of the upper picture. The art is solid, busy, loaded with narrative. Feel the serenity of the ages in the night scene below. Kellogg's game-playing, his affection, his gusto burst out of this page and send the viewer's imagination soaring. -- Horn Book, May/June 1988
The kids find it fascinating and it helps a very abstract concept become more accessible.
This picture book is a great pairing of engaging children's literature, detailed illustrations and a deep math concept.
I highly recommend it for teachers of children or adults of all ages - I plan to use it with my trainee teachers.
What a fun book - I read this as a child and bought this for my own children. A million is a very difficult concept to grasp but this book does just that. Read morePublished 8 days ago by es
A book club selection. Kids love bit numbers! Used it to discuss proportion using a small jar containing uniform objects for each child. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Lynne
I felt like this book didn't only help my kids but me as well. Great way to learn about "how much"!Published 7 months ago by Jess Larsen
This book tells you all about a million, a billion, and a trillion in a cool way. It gives you visuals that help you think about these enormous numbers and picture how big they... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Young Mensan BookParade
"How much is a million?" is a question that every child asks before 2nd grade, and this book provides an accessible visual answer. Read morePublished 17 months ago by freethinker
My 5 year old grandson was delighted with this book! It has wonderful and fun illustrations as well as building concepts of large numbers.Published 18 months ago by D. Partridge
i am a math geek and anything that makes numbers and math fun for my kids (3 and 5) is great in my book. and this does not disappoint. fantastic book, they love it!!Published 22 months ago by GDLions