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How Much Is a Million? (Reading Rainbow Books (Pb)) Hardcover – January 1, 1997


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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Series: Reading Rainbow Books (Pb)
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812449215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812449211
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

An attempt to help children conceptualize the immensity of numbers is aided immeasurably by the artist's jovial, detailed, whimsical illustrations. Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician demonstrates the meaning of a million by showing his four young friends (plus two cats, a dog, and a unicorn) that it would take twenty-three days to even count to a million and that a goldfish bowl large enough to hold a million goldfish could hold a whale. Seven pages are printed with tiny white stars on a grid pattern against a blue sky -- adding up to only one hundred thousand stars! And after that, a billion and a trillion are discussed, all with equally or even more outstanding examples; a trillion children standing on each other's shoulders would almost reach to the rings of Saturn. The author concludes with several pages of the mathematical calculations which support his examples, very clearly and humorously explained. An unusual idea, smoothly and amusingly presented. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

Aside from being great fun, and it is, this book leads the viewer to conceptualize what at first seems inconceivable, no mean feat. A jubilant, original picture book. -- Booklist, June 15, 1985

Children are often intrigued by or confused about (sometimes both) very large numbers. Here Schwartz uses concepts that are simple to help readers conceptualize astronomical numbers like a million, billion, and trillion.

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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


More About the Author

With the same energy, humor and clarity found in his 50 books, David wows audiences at schools around the United States and beyond. David is an accomplished storyteller and a master at getting kids to think and have fun at the same time. His presentations lead children on entertaining and educational journeys that combine math, science, reading and writing. David also gives keynote presentations and workshops for educators at professional conferences.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The kids find it fascinating and it helps a very abstract concept become more accessible.
A. Teacher
This picture book is a great pairing of engaging children's literature, detailed illustrations and a deep math concept.
T. Thompson
I highly recommend it for teachers of children or adults of all ages - I plan to use it with my trainee teachers.
Peter S. Price

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By colmore on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm currently a college student, majoring in Mathematics.
I clearly remember this book, and the sequel by the same author, as huge parts of my childhood love for the subject. Its clear and innovative style helped spark in me a deep love of mathematics. I still imagine big numbers as fields of stars and lines of kids holding fishbowls.
This is perfect for any child, it gives potentially abstract and boring numbers a proper sense of wonder. I can't reccomend it enough.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Andrea J. Keirstead on June 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have used this book countless times for teaching new speakers of English our big numbers. It is also wonderful for young gifted children who are able to grasp these concepts perhaps sooner than their age-mates. The most creative use I've heard of came from a teacher who had borrowed my copy but then asked to keep it a little longer because she wanted to be able to give her middle-school students an idea of the enormity of the Holocaust.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Our class liked this book. We thought it was hilarious and gave a wonderful picture of how much a million really is. The kid tower was very imaginative and was an excellent example of a million, billion, and trillion. David M. Schwartz has a fantastic imagination. This book is great for little kids, because it shows there are numbers greater than a hundred. It's language is easy for kids to understand, and it contains many amazing facts.
However, older students dislike it, because it was too fictional. We felt it didn't explain these concepts well enough for us. Overall, we wouldn't recommend it for grades higher than fourth grade.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Thompson on April 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
This picture book is a great pairing of engaging children's literature, detailed illustrations and a deep math concept. I love the way that Schwartz and Kellogg bring this book to life!
I love Kellogg's illustrating! I would just love to jump right into the pages and be a part of all the action. His characters are drawn with such unique faces. And each page is filled with numerous details and endless nooks and cranies. Each page begs to be explored over and over.
If you have never enjoyed a book illustrated by Steven Kellogg now is the time!
The writing in this particular book is also very well done. The little facts about the number 1 million are really interesting. For instance it would take a fish bowl the size of a city harbor to hold a million goldfish!
This book really helps kids and adults understand a very abstract concept. How many of us really have a good grasp on how much a million really is? This book definitely puts it in perspective!
Read it once and you'll have to read it again and again!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Children are fascinated by the idea of a million of anything. It's just SO big! This book, with its delightful illustrations and text, makes the idea a little more understandable. I highly recommend this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gives children many opportunities to visualize something that seems so complicated into something realistic.The authors use of numbers makes it easier to understand the comparison of quantities. The story in itself made me not want to put the book down. I definately recommend this book to people of all ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter S. Price on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is brilliant! For teaching about very large numbers (billions and trillions as well as millions) it is fantastic. Children (and adults) have difficulty imagining just how big these huge numbers are; this book will help thinkers of all ages. I highly recommend it for teachers of children or adults of all ages - I plan to use it with my trainee teachers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book and I like the way David M. Schwartz used kids as an example of measurement. I thought the story was cute and I think young kids will really enjoy this. This is a story that I read a lot when I was in elementary. The story shows a very creative out look on counting and makes a million look like a humongous number. I think kids can really learn from that and even makes it kind of fun to learn. Sometimes I even like to read this book over because it really is a fun book to read. The illustrations are also very good and I think they definitely add to the creativity of this book. I really enjoyed looking at them.
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