How Much Is a Million?
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How Much Is a Million?

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,706 ratings  ·  177 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 Selectio...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by HarperCollins (first published 1985)
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I have actually first heard of this book through “Weston Woods” and I have enjoyed it ever since! “How Much Is a Million?” is a mathematical children's book by David M. Schwartz along with illustrations by Steven Kellogg and it is about how Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician shows kids how much it would take to count to a million! “How Much Is a Million?” is a truly brilliant book for children who want to learn more about mathematics!

This book basically explains about how much a million wo...more
Jenna Dillon
Brief summary: This book is about a explaining the magnitude of the number: one million. It goes through different scenarios that involve the number so that children can better understand that a million is huge.Genre: non-fiction, informational guide to understanding concepts
Reading Level: This book is for transitional readers because the text placement is varied and there are multiple lines on most pages. There is a mixture of regular and some harder words, which were mostly one or two syllable...more
My six-year-old is insatiable about numbers right now, and this book absolutely hits the spot. It is mind-blowing, as the illustrations (Stephen Kellogg is a favorite of mine) and narrative effectively explore VERY large numbers that you sometimes hear thrown around in the news. Here you will learn that a trillion (a thousand billion) really is tremendous.

A sample...
If one million kids climbed onto one another's shoulders, they would be... taller than the tallest buildings, higher than the high
Amy Musser
How many years would it take you to count to one million? One billion? One trillion? What if you wanted to find a goldfish bowl big enough to hold a million or a billion or a trillion gold fish? This humorous, but accurate book follows a group of kids and Marvelosissimo, the Mathematical Magician, to answers these questions.

The illustrations show energetic children amazed at the sights Marvelosissimo shows them. The pictures are full of movement, splashing whales, climbing children. I also love...more
Nov 09, 2011 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: K-3
Kindergarteners make an excellent reading audience. At tutoring every week, we primarily practice letter, number, and quantity recognition with the group of students, so when I found How Much is a Million? on the Title 1 bookshelf, it was an ideal break-out when their attentions drifted away from the white board work.

This is a good concept book, and I was already thinking of how I could write an interactive reading lesson plan around it (probably with the focus of fantasy v. reality or repetiti...more
Feb 17, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book offers a fun and imaginative way to describe just how big a million, a billion and a trillion are using concrete figures of a child's height, time, a quantity of water, and pages of stars to illustrate the somewhat abstract concept of such large numbers. The information was mind-blowing and the illustrations are fun. We are looking forward to reading If You Made a Million and On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey by this author.
Have you ever wondered how much really is a million? Well if you read this book, you can stop wondering. This book talks about how a million would look in many different forms. In the form of stars and then in the form of items on the Earth. I would love to have this book in my classroom and no matter what age, I would love to talk to the children about numbers. When talking about numbers you can talk about small numbers a lot, but we never really talk about big numbers, numbers that seem intang...more
Mar 29, 2014 Diana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: math
Have you ever wondered how would a million look? A billion? A trillion? This fun book illustrates the magnitude of these numbers by illustrating them in different ways. For example, if one million kids sat on each other’s shoulders, they would reach farther up than airplanes can fly. This book also includes examples of how many stars and pages a million, billion, and trillion would fill! This book illustrates how much numbers weight and it is great for elementary school children. I would use thi...more
Kristine Mathias
content Statements:

1. If you wanted to count from 1 to 1 Million it would take you about 23 days.
2. To count to one billion it would take you 3 billion seconds.
3. It would take 6 trillion seconds or 190,259 years to reach the number 1 trillion.

I would use this in the math center as it offers great explanations about numbers and it puts explanations into perspective for children.

This book really helps children grasp the concept of big numbers. The author does a great job of putting into perspecti...more
Katie Foster
This is a perfect book to gauge how many a million really is! It has fun facts about the number million. For example, the author writes that if you were to count to a million, it would take you about 23 days. Then the book goes on to gauge how many a billion is, and then a trillion. It really puts the differences of those three numbers in perspective! At the end of the book, the author has further information about how to compare a million. For example, he tells us that on average children are 4...more
I love this math book. Fun!
I've been reading this book to my classes pretty much my entire career. I am not certain how I came upon it, but it is a good book to demonstrate exactly how large numbers are. I used to have an oversize edition of this book, but it remained in the classroom at my former school. I now check out this book from our school library each year.

It takes 23 days to count from one to one million. It takes 95 years to count from one to one billion. A fish bowl the size of a football stadium is needed to h...more
Genre: K-3 Concept Book
Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book
Beehive Award (Utah)
ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Reading Rainbow Book
Bank Street Children's Book Award

This book is an excellent children's concept book. It begins by talking about a million, then a billion, and finally a trillion. For each of these huge numbers, the author gives almost unbelievable pictures and descriptions of how big these numbers actually are. For example, "if a goldfish bowl were b...more
Joanna Marple
"If one million kids climbed onto one another's shoulders, they would be taller than the tallest buildings, higher than the highest mountains, and farther up than airplanes can fly." Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician holds an unforgettable math class. This book basically explains about how much a million would be visually, comparing it to kids standing on shoulders, or stars on a page or goldfish in a goldfish bowl. He then proceeds to use the same imagery to explain a billion and a trill...more
I cannot for the life of me figure out why there is a unicorn in this book. There are aliens when the kids make a tower to Saturn’s rings, and I understand that, but the unicorn just seems completely out of place. Yes, Marvelosissimo is a “mathematical magician,” but I don’t think that requires the presence of a unicorn. It’s just baffling.
Besides that, this is a pretty straight-forward and entertaining book. The cover illustration is so busy, despite the white space that serves to highlight the...more
Amar Pai
I like what this book is going for, even though (IMO) it utterly fails. The problem is, you just can't conceive of a trillion. A million, maybe. A billion, doubtful but possible. A trillion, forget it. The book attempts to convey the relative scale of these numbers via how big a goldfish bowl w/ that many goldfish would be, how tall a human ladder with that many humans would be, etc. One step away from using "football fields" or "pencils stacked end to end." The metaphors are kinda tired and I d...more
Ever have trouble visualizing a million, or a billion, or even a trillion of something? Then this is the book for you! Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician brings the concept of large numbers down into objects children can visualize, such as gold fish, or stars, or even kids...a million kids? Hard to imagine, unless you have this book. Use it for preschool storytime or even the math section of a preschool or K-2 classroom.

CIP Summary:
Text and pictures try to make possible the conceptualizati...more
Book Title: How Much is a Million
In this book, there are many ways to represent the number one million. It gives the students a visual of what one million really looks like.
Informational: This story helps children to see and understand what one million looks like. It tells you how many days it would take you to count to 1 million, how big a fish bowl would be to hold 1 million fish etc.
Ending: How much is a Million ends with representing 1 trillion in multiple ways to show children how much th...more
Whitney Bailey
This book helps put into perspective large quantities of numbers: millions, billions, and trillions. For students to be able to understand through pictures and words, how to better grasp the conceptual side of how much a million of something might look like.

This book does an excellent job for students to be able to "see" what a million of something would look like through the visual's it presents in within the book.

This book is an informational type of literacy that brings the students ways to...more
A great book that can help children be interested in math. Not only are the illustrations wrought in Kellogg's unique style, but there is an author's note in the end that helps the curious child through all the math used in the book. All around cool.

The copy I received has a "Reading Rainbow" insignia on the cover. There is no doubt why such a great program would have featured this book. It deserves to become part of any library, home or school.

Granted, the book does scream 80's (example: child...more
This book uses real life examples and magical-like drawings to illustrate the size of the numbers one million, one billion, and one trillion. I appreciate the fact that the book uses illustrations to help kids understand the immensity of these numbers in a fun way, that they can comprehend. My favorite parts were the title page, which features a full-bleed, double page spread of the kids preparing for a marathon and pulled the reader into the story immediately, and also the seven pages of the ki...more
I believe this can really help kids get a better handle on very large numbers, including some above 1 million. Great illustrations!
Kayo C
Similar to Can You Count To a Googol by Robert E. Wells this book explores large numbers. I found that at the lower elementary level children are really fascinated by large numbers so this book takes them clear up to a million and beyond! It has a lot of neat facts in it and as an added bonus at the end of the book there is a section where it explains (for the adults benefit) how all of the different calculations were came up with to make the comparisions of how large certains things are. This b...more
If you've ever wondered how big a bowl you would need to hold a million goldfish, or how many years it would take to count to a million, then this is the book for you. The illustrations in this book are perfect for helping children become familiar with large number concepts.

My favorite aspect of the book are the illustrations. Children will want to try counting the author's illustrations, which are clear and imaginative.

I would recommend this book to young children, grades K-4th who have an in...more
Katherine Fountain
Marvelossismo, the magic mathematician, shows children fun ways to conceptualize a million in How Much Is A Million? I read this to my first grade class after seeing it in the school media center and the students loved it! They were so amazed at the idea of a million gold fish or even a million kids. After reading the story, the students were using their imagination and wondering how big a million schools would be and if it would be tall enough to touch the sky. This is a great book to have the...more
Sara Stalder
Not only is this book super cute, humorous, and adorable, it is informational too; for all ages! Even as a college freshman and a math minor, I found this book very enlightening. Sometimes it can be really hard to grasp the concept of big numbers like a million, a billion, and a trillion. But this book really puts it into perspective. Some of the facts about how big a million is surprised me! The pictures in this book are also very funny! I would definitely suggest reading this book to students...more
Jonathan Dowell
David M. Schwartz's "How Much Is a Million?" does a great job of contextualizing large numbers for young children. It seems that it is often the case that young children have difficulty in assessing how much a specific number is worth. By using grand, over-the-top examples like the fact that, if one were to count to one billion it would take 95 years, it can help children to see the worth of large digits. Illustrator Steven Kellogg's pictures are very detailed throughout the book. The colors, mo...more
-Math context
-Visually representing the number a million
Melanie, Aaron, Annie, and Mary Project
Interest Level
Grades K - 2
Grade level Equivalent: 2.1
Lexile Measure®: 760L
Guided Reading: K
Read by: Mary

This book is about counting and numbers. It is a good book for the the younger grades, but can also be used for the upper grades since it engrosses the students in the book with fun facts. The story starts out with interesting facts that are accompanied with engrossing pictures of children, that all kids can relate to. This is a good book to show how much a million means and how to put it int...more
Chelsea Bucci
This engaging story attempts to help students comprehend what the terms: million, billion, and trillion mean. Since these three words are rarely used or seen during an ordinary day, the writer provides examples of these amount using real objects and concepts. For instance, "if a million students stood on each other's shoulders, they would be higher than the tallest mountain." He also writes that it would take you 23 days to count from one to one million. These examples show students just how lar...more
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As a child, I was filled with a sense of awe as I contemplated the universe. The huge numbers of stars and their sizes and distances never failed to amaze me. With binoculars and magnifying glass, I also focused on closer subjects like birds, flowers, frogs and bugs.

But science and math weren't my only fascinations: I also loved bicycles, baseball, boats…and ice cream. Years later, on a clear spr...more
More about David M. Schwartz...
If You Hopped Like A Frog Where in the Wild?: Camouflaged Creatures Concealed... and Revealed If You Made a Million Millions to Measure G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book

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