A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

Seth Fishman, illus. by Isabel Greenberg. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-245578-9
In a book that encourages readers to observe the world with wonder and curiosity, Fishman (The Well’s End) delights in throwing mammoth, even unfathomable figures at them, using estimation to round to the nearest billion or trillion as necessary. Beginning with the sun, Fishman explains that it’s just one star among “(maybe) 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.” (In the corner of the spread, “a hundred billion trillion” appears, helping readers boggled by those 23 zeroes—or adults reading aloud.) He then rattles off staggering numbers about the planet and its inhabitants: 240,000 miles, the distance at which the moon orbits the Earth, “is about ten times around the earth, or almost 420,000,000 yous.” Greenberg (The One Hundred Nights of Hero) illustrates in a chunky, cheery cartoon style, switching between scenes of interplanetary vastness and intimate ones of children reading, adding warmth to counterbalance the unwieldy numbers. An afterword dives deeper into the power of estimation and extrapolation when trying to make sense of things that seem unknowable at first glance. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit. Illustrator’s agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/17/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-06-298178-3
Hardcover - 978-957-503-534-1
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