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.
Even thought the subject is enormous, the illustrations are whimsical and wonderful. I have used the book with my young first grade reading buddy at school. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vicki L Hasting
My 4 and 8 year olds both love this book. It's fun to read and my 4 year old studies it!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 4 months ago by es