Synopses & Reviews
Ever wonder just what a million of something means? How about a billion? Or a trillion? Marvelosissimo the mathematical magician can teach you! How Much is a Million?
knocks complex numbers down to size in a fun, humorous way, helping children conceptualize a difficult mathematical concept.
This classic picture book is an ALA Notable Book, a Reading Rainbow Feature Selection, and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book for Illustration.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
This book reveals how big a bowl would be needed to hold a million goldfish, or how many years it would take to count to a million.
About the Author
In His Own Words...
"When I was growing up, the smallest and the largest things in the universe fascinated me most. Compared with them, I could be both a giant and a dwarf at the same time!
"When I peered through a microscope to view water from a nearby pond or blood extracted from my own finger, I was transported mentally to wonderful worlds of hidden life. When I looked through a telescope at heavenly bodies, I took marvelous mental journeys into space.
"I also took real journeys on my bicycle almost every day. To occupy my mind during long rides, I liked to calculate how long it would take to ride a magical bicycle all the way around the Earth... or Jupiter.. or all the way to the Moon... or to the Sun... or to a distant star. Could anybody count the trillions of stars, I wondered, and if so, how long would it take? I wanted to understand numbers like million, billion, and trillion-not just to know what they were, but to have a feel for what they meant. I found it impossible to comprehend huge distances like 93 million miles (the distance to the Sun) but it was fun to try.
"I once estimated how many books were in my town's public library, and then I told myself, "With so many books, surely I could write just one!" But I never tried until many years later. I studied biology at Cornell University, and became an elementary school teacher. One night I peered upward at a clear sky studded with stars, and all the wonder and excitement I had experienced as a child came flooding back.
"That night I decided to try to write a book that would boggle children's minds the way mine had been boggled when I contemplated the heavens and the large numbers used to describe them. The result was my first book, How Much Is A Million?
"In addition to writing children's books, I write magazine articles for adults. I am especially interested in nature and environmental issues; I now watch birds and bugs as much as stars! Being a writer enables me to learn about a wide range of subjects, from soda fountains and architecture to folk dancing and butterflies, Sometimes I get to visit fascinating places, like the rain forests of South America where I did research for an article about an endangered tribe of indigenous people struggling bravely to save their rain forest home. That trip also led to my book, Yanomami: People of the Amazon.
"I grew up on Long Island, lived in New England for 20 years, and I recently moved to northern California. When I'm not writing or researching books and articles, I am likely to be outdoors, enjoying the activities I have always loved: walking and bicycling, watching birds and gazing at the stars. They still boggle my mind!"