Reviews for Million Dots

Booklist Reviews 2006 June #1
K-Gr. 3. With one million dots printed on its pages, this large-format picture book shows how big a million really is. Along the way, the text and illustrations offer plenty to look at and think about besides the rows and rows of tiny dots. On each page, Clements selects one number and connects it to a numerical fact--for example, "The sooty tern can fly nonstop for 87,600 hours after it leaves the nest--that's ten years on the wing!" A picture related to the idea is superimposed on the dots, giving the colorful images a distinctive, pixilated look. While the pictures are often well conceived, and the varied how-much, how-far, how-long, how-many factoids are diverting, the gee-whiz quality of the numerical information loses some oomph along the way. Still, teachers will appreciate the visual interpretation of the numerical concept. While this is not a replacement for David Schwartz's How Much Is a Million (1985), it offers an alternate interpretation of the subject. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
Each page shows many thousands of small dots laid out over digital art so that at the end of the book readers have seen a million. Although the methodology is confusing, Clements presents interesting facts (there are more than three hundred thousand kinds of beetles) and Reed's clever pictures effectively relay the scope of large numbers. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2006 June #1
Here's a picture book that challenges the ease with which so many of us invoke "millions," as one million tiny dots range across some 19 successive double-page spreads. Fanciful illustrations superimposed over the arrays depict the various milestones along the count-up to a million. A cow in a space helmet jumps happily over the moon, while a tiny highlight indicates the 238,857th dot, representing the distance in miles from the Earth to the moon; a chubby tern appears next to his luggage, its tiny highlighted dot indicating that, "[a]n Arctic tern will fly more than 650,000 miles during its lifetime." Clements has done an admirable job selecting kid-friendly facts to aid in the count-up, effectively mixing the serious and the goofy. The concept begs comparison to David M. Schwartz's How Much Is a Million? (1985), and while this offering does its predecessor one better by delivering all one million goods, it lacks some of the earlier book's sparkle. Its clarity of design and variety of facts presented, however, make it a solid browsing book and an entertaining alternative for fact- and number-obsessed kids. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-12) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 June #2

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)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 July

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

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