Skip to main content

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers

Review

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers

Written by David J. Smith, illustrated by Steve Adams

After reading this book, you may never look at large numbers and the concept of scales the same way again. Author David J. Smith is a teacher. One of the things he likes to do in his classroom is teach kids about numbers and scales. But, he says, kids (and adults) have trouble grasping the concept. So, he breaks down the concept into ideas that kids can understand.

After reading this book, you may never look at large numbers and the concept of scales the same way again.

For instance, he says, “If all the water on Earth were represented by 100 glasses…97 of the glasses would be filled with salt water from the oceans and some lakes.” That makes the concept real rather than just saying 97 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. He uses examples like this throughout the book. He compares the size of the planets to different types of balls. He also uses the concept of 100 coins to illustrate all the money in the world and then divides those coins up around the continents.

Smith includes six activities at the end of the book that teachers and/or parents can use to help children understand the concept of scale.

I really enjoyed the book. It gave me a whole new perspective on sizes and relationships.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on August 7, 2014

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
Written by David J. Smith, illustrated by Steve Adams

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2014
  • Genres: Education, Nonfiction, Picture
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press
  • ISBN-10: 1894786343
  • ISBN-13: 9781894786348