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How Much Is a Million?

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  5,134 ratings  ·  281 reviews
“A jubilant, original picture book.” Booklist (starred review)

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. It's a math class you
Paperback, 40 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Collins (first published 1985)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,134 ratings  ·  281 reviews

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This is one I’ve raised my kids on. We did a reread tonight.
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We had this book when I was growing up and I was fascinated with it. I took it out from the library to read to my son and while he's a bit young to grasp the concept of a million, he still enjoyed the story. I really like Kellogg's illustrations. The only thing I don't like is that the text is set in all caps. Why? ...more
This book aimed at elementary school kids tries to convey just how big a million, billion and a trillion are, by using several examples (height of x kids, a bowl for x goldfish, x number of stars). A very decent attempt, since such large numbers are so big, even to adults they are (almost) abstract.
What I personally loved, were the last pages, in which the author justifies his examples with actual mathematics.
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
Jenna Dillon
Oct 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: late-early
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
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I absolutely loved the math and illustrations in this. Absolutely a great book for kids to learn about numbers and money.
Patricia Ross
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: informational-4
This is a fun book that plays with the number million. It teaches how big the number is. For example it would take 23 days to count to a million and it would take a bowl as big as a stadium to fit a million goldfish. My son went through a stage of everything being a million and we enjoy reading this book and comparing how many small things would make up a million. It puts it in perspective in a fun way.
Great book showing how much a million is that kids can understand!
Paul Terpstra
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brilliant book. A great concept to teach children about larger numbers which dwell outside their grasp.
Amar Pai
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
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
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  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.

This book was featured as one of the selections for
Amy Forrester
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbnf-500
I first read this many years ago. I really liked how Schwartz made such a large numbers at least somewhat understandable for young children. The back matter is wonderful to help the adults to understand the concepts as well, and how he did his calculations. And those 7 pages of teensy weensy stars! (Did they have copy and paste in 1985?) Once again, I love all the details that Kellogg puts into his illustrations. Only one observation--a wrap-up sentence or two on a page before the back matter wo ...more
Sarah Sammis
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Had lunch with the author today.

A really good description of orders of magnitude using things children can relate too (children standing on shoulders, the time to count, goldfish and stars in the book)
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I love this math book. Fun!
Haley Smith
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bibliography
This book is a nonfiction book for children from prek- 2nd grade. This book has won several awards including Reading Rainbow Book, Horn Book Fanfare,Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, Beehive Award (Utah), Bank Street Children's Book Award, ALA Notable Children's Book, ALA Booklist Editors' Choice. This book is all about counting to extremely large numbers like one million, one billion and one trillion. Not only does it talk about counting it tells you what it would look like if there were ...more
Lacie Ortiz
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: counting, numbers
Such a fun book to use for children who are learning about big numbers! This book is about showing a visual representation of how much the number one million is, one billion and one trillion. I felt happy while reading this book because it amazes me how large the number one million is. I never really think of that number but seeing how many days it would take to count to that number is crazy! My favorite part of the book was when it showed like three pages of a describing a small example of what ...more
Emily Peters
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdng-350
This book makes it fun to understand math. It explains what it really means to have a million or even more or less. This book uses great examples like if one million kids climbed into one another’s shoulders they would be taller than the tallest building. They make it fun and they have great pictures that go along with what is being said.
Like or not:
I really like this book. I didn’t think nonfiction picture books were a thing and then I came across this book and I think it is so fun an
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nonfiction (Concept Book)
ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Bank Street Children's Book Award
Beehive Award (Utah)
Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book
Horn Book Fanfare
Reading Rainbow Book
Audience: Grades 1-5
-Topic: This books teaches just how much the number one million is. It uses concepts that children understand as comparisons so that they understand just how big the number is.
-Topic is presented in a friendly way by using inviting illustrations and similes and m
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline Daniel
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-4050
o Summary: This book helps children under the concept of a million. Such a difficult thing to understand is broken down for kids to understand and have fun doing so.
o Grade level: second
o Appropriate classroom use: during a math lesson for fun
o Individual students who might benefit from reading: kids that like math
o Small group use: Kids can read and then talk about what a million is
o Whole class use: Read during a math class to have a break from doing actual math work
o Related books in genre/su
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math-tales
I got this book for my middle guy because he always has questions based on numbers.
The author is actually a mathematician and made this conceptual book for children to grow their curiosity for numbers.
The illustrations are enchanting with the element of learning and the text teaches with questions and answers entertaining to a child's mind. A very gripping conceptual math tale.
"How big is a million?
If a billion kids made a human tower...
they would stand up past the moon.
If you sat down to count
Michael Campana
Marvelosissimo the [fictional] Mathematical Magician introduces children to the [non-fiction] mathematical concept of very high numbers (one million, one billion, and one trillion) using a variety of relatable illustrations and examples (e.g. 'If you wanted to count from one to one million, it would take you about 23 days' and 'If a goldfish bowl were big enough for a million goldfish, it would be large enough to hold a whale'). The book's colorful ink and watercolor illustrations on each page h ...more
Rachael Fricke
Can you count to one million? How long will it take you? Want the answers to these questions and more? Read this adorable book. I loved this book! This book is a great way to put large numbers in to perspective for kids. I'm an adult and I thought I knew how much one million, one billion, one trillion were, yet I was still shocked after reading the book. The illustrations are fabulous! This would make for a great "Across the Curriculum" read that you could incorporate with a math lesson! Kids wi ...more
Cynthia Zarate
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math-books
This book is great for young children because they are curious about everything. They know a hundred is a lot but a million and a billion is mind blowing to them. This book mentions how a million people being stacked on top of each other would be taller than the tallest building in the world. Or if a million people were in a fish bowl, a whale could fit in it. The book also moves on to a billion, my favorite was how if you counted to a billion, it would take 95 years!
Lauralee Moose
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A million is an awfully big number, so big it is hard to put into perspective. Schwartz is able to provide some engaging and child friendly perspective on just how big a million actually is. This is a fun (sometimes silly) engaging book to introduce children to larger numbers and give them better number sense.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really cute book. It uses the same examples to illustrate the amount of one million, one billion, and one trillion. It helps give children the idea of how truly big these numbers are. Kellog's illustrations are beautiful, as usual. It would be a good book for reading aloud or story time usage. ...more
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