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How Much is a Million?


How Much is a Million?

Authored by David M. Schwartz

Pictures by Steven Kellogg

Ever since mankind has had the ability to understand numbers, children have been trying to count to a million. Most likely your child has tried this feat for themselves. Unless they were able to put aside approximately 23 days (11 and a half if you took no breaks), they probably didn’t make it. Although, I bet they had a lot of fun trying.

Part of the reason children do this is because they want to understand what a million is and there is no better way to understand a number than by counting to it. If they had ten Matchbox cars they could easily count them and even see what they look like in a group, therefore making ten a concrete concept. What if you don’t have a million Matchbox cars handy, how do you make a million, billion, or even a trillion tangible? Well, this book is a terrific place to start!

How does David Schwartz do it? By using objects and images children can relate to. For example, if a million children stood on each other’s shoulders, how far would they reach? Or just how big would a fishbowl have to be to carry a million goldfish? Then it cleverly builds by using the same objects to help children understand a billion and trillion. Wow!

Let’s not forget the other reason children try to count so high, for the sheer wonder of it. Help feed that wonder and read this book to them. I can think of a million reasons why.

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