Millions, billions & trillions Understanding big numbers

David A. Adler

Book - 2013

Explains the concepts of large numbers in terms that young readers can understand and visualize.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j513/Adler Checked In
New York : Holiday House c2013.
1st ed
Physical Description
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 27 cm
Main Author
David A. Adler (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Math book veterans Adler and Miller put giant numbers into perspective by using familiar frames of reference and by appealing to readers' imaginations: "How many ice cream sundaes would one billion dollars buy? At five dollars a Sunday, you could buy one thousand sundaes every day for more than five hundred years." Real-world examples (New York City has a population of over eight million people) combine with more fanciful ways to conceptualize these quantities ("One trillion dollars would make a stack about seven hundred miles high"), and Miller's eye-popping digital cartoons help make these intimidatingly massive numbers more digestible. And for those up for even more of a mental challenge: an author's note tackles quadrillions, quintillions, and sextillions. Ages 6–10. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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, VA [Page 90]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Explains the concepts of large numbers in terms that young readers can understand and visualize.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

How long would it take to count to a billion without stopping? How many pizzas could a million dollars buy? Big numbers-- like millions, billions, and trillions-- are hard to visualize.  In this book, the dynamic duo of David A. Adler and Edward Miller illustrate and explain these huge numbers in a lighthearted, easy-to-imagine way.  Whether it's a trillion pieces of popcorn, a billion dollars, or even bigger numbers, the concrete examples in Millions, Billions, & Trillions, laid out in simple, kid-friendly language and bright, cartoony illustrations, will help young readers make sense of large values and develop a sense of scale.  From the masterful team of David A. Adler-- a former math teacher-- and Edward Miller comes another great introduction to mathematical concepts for young readers. Don't miss their other collaborations, including Squares, Rectangles, and Other Quadrilaterals, Money Math, Place Value, and Let's Estimate!