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How Much Is a Million? 20th Anniversary Edition (Reading Rainbow Books) Paperback – December 28, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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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.

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"
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 760 (What's this?)
  • Series: Reading Rainbow Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688099335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688099336
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. The pictures are so lively and detailed - there are lots of things to see on every page. It also goes into "billion" and "trillion." It uses everyday objects like stars and other children to help kids intellectualy grasp how much a million really is! A classic and should be in every child's home library.
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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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