If… by David J. Smith

I saw this posted somewhere and thought it would make a good Fun Math book. So, I picked it up from the library. Even though I don’t usually review picture books, I thought this one was interesting enough to be worth a post.

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

Illustrator: Steve Adams

Published: 2014

Genre: nonfiction math picture book

Length: 40 pages

Summary: The book provides illustrations of really big numbers in a manner that makes it easier to comprehend the numbers. It covers events in time, such as the history of the Earth, or events of the last 3000 or 1000 years, and space, like the size of the galaxy or the amount of water on Earth. It also covers more general concepts like the source of energy we use, or the time you spend on different activities in your life.

Final thoughts: This was a fascinating book, although not something you want to sit down and read all the way through. Instead, it’s great for looking at a few pages and considering the big numbers that are being shown. The concept was interesting enough that I decided the kids could make their own for a Fun Math project. Miss Adventure decided to represent the number of animal species and Mr. Curiosity chose to show the number of Americans that died in various wars. Turns out it’s tricky trying to turn those big numbers into something easier to comprehend.

Title comes from: It’s how the first sentence of each concept starts, as in, “If the Milky Way galaxy were shrunk to the size of a dinner plate…” or, “If today’s world population of over 7 billion were represented by a village of 100 people…”

Reading challenges fulfilled: None since this is a picture book

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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