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Millions, Billions, & Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers Hardcover – January 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Adler does a wonderful job of helping school-age children understand the concept that a million is a heck of a lot. He begins his explanations with things that children know. For example, he asks how many slices of pizza a million dollars would buy and tells readers they could acquire two entire pizza pies every day for 68 years. Grounding their thinking in something they already know helps youngsters begin to understand the enormity of the number. Similarly, he describes one billion in terms of how many hairs are on a typical human's head. One hundred thousand! If you gathered together ten thousand people you would have about one billion hairs. Trillions are difficult to imagine, and the book gives an example a good shot. Knowing that it is virtually uncountable is all that any of us needs to know. Miller's clean, clear digital graphics are lively and colorful, adding an extra bit of fun to the presentation. The book is perfectly suited to elementary students, who are able to think conceptually, and their foundational knowledge of math will help them make the leaps they will need to take to understand millions, billions, and trillions. For curious children who find numbers intriguing, this book is right on the money.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This accessible picture book presents big numbers, considers how we use them, and offers a sense of the quantities they represent. For instance, we use millions to talk about the populations of cities. To see one million grains of sugar (or close to it), readers are instructed to spill a quarter cup of sugar onto a piece of dark construction paper. Though billions and trillions are trickier to represent in the kitchen or on the page, the book provides examples of how the terms are used. In an appended note, Adler comments on even bigger numbers: a quadrillion, a quintillion, and a sextillion, all obligingly written out in large numerals. An interesting note comments that different terminology is used in other parts of the world, where our billion is others’ milliard, and a trillion in the U.S. is a billion elsewhere. Inevitably, minds may still boggle at the large numbers represented here, but Adler’s text is imaginative as well as logical, and Miller’s brightly colored digital illustrations are cheerful and inventive. Grades K-3. --Carolyn Phelan
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