Clements (Room One , reviewed below) sets out, with mixed results, to explain the concept of one million through a roundup of number factoids and an accumulation of tiny dots. After viewing the opening page--which presents a single period-size dot--readers see roundups of 10; 100; 500 and then 1,000 dots. On subsequent pages, Reed's vividly hued digital artwork, imposed against peg-board like backgrounds of minuscule dots, demonstrates bits of number trivia. Beginning with "The wings of a mosquito beat 600 times each second," the data progresses--quite arbitrarily--to increasingly larger numbers: from 600 to 1,860 (the number of steps to the top of the Empire State Building) then on to 24,901 (the number of miles around the Earth at the equator). In each illustration, a single dot is circled, presumably representing the number that corresponds with these highlighted facts. At the bottom right of each spread, a running total appears (e.g., "142,911 dots so far"). Readers may find some of the numerical facts Clements reveals intriguing, while some other facts may seem silly or vague (e.g., for the number 464,000: "It would take 464,000 school-lunch cartons of chocolate milk to fill a 20-by-40-foot swimming pool"). Reed's illustrations are similarly uneven, presenting images that range from bland (a tooth-brushing scene) to humorous (a herd of dogs chasing a postman for "More than 765,174 men and women work for the U.S. Postal Service"). Though, in theory, the volume demonstrates the impressive size of one million, kids may well be more confused than enlightened by the presentation here. Ages 4-8. (July)[Page 51]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 1-4 -Enormous numbers are often difficult for children to conceptualize, but Clements makes the process enjoyable. The book begins and ends with a single dot. In between, readers not only view the other 999,998, but also pick up some fascinating tidbits of information. Each page features an array of dots arranged in a rectangular shape with an illustration superimposed on top, all set against a warm-hued background. One or two boxed facts help readers visualize particular amounts, and the spreads have arrows pointing out how many dots have been presented so far. The examples bring the concept home while reflecting kids' interests: "There are 525,600 minutes from one birthday to the next one" or "To eat 675,000 Hershey's bars, you would have to eat one bar every two minutes, nonstop, for more than 234 days!" Reed's humorous and eye-catching digital artwork adds to the appeal. The phrase "It's 238,857 miles from the Earth to the moon" is illustrated with a cow in space gear making its famous jump, while the fact that an arctic tern will fly more than 650,000 miles in its lifetime shows a camera-toting bird complete with Panama hat, suitcases, and passport clutched in wing. Pair this imaginative title with David M. Schwartz's classic How Much Is a Million? (HarperCollins, 1985) for a tremendous math lesson.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ[Page 70]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.