cover image A Million Dots

A Million Dots

Sven Völker. Cicada, $18.95 (44p) ISBN 978-1-908714-66-4

Minimalist design meets math in this mind-boggling visualization of numbers up to more than one million. Starting with one tree—a large green circle stacked atop a small brown rectangle—then two; subsequent spreads double numbers as a page turn reveals four apples on the branch, then eight on the ground beneath their autumnal parents. From 16 on, the arboreal thread is dropped as disparate images help readers envisage the sums: a ladybug sports 16 spots, a glass of effervescent drink fizzes with 128 bubbles, and 256 freckles span a face. As the numerical figures increase in size, the dots become smaller until a single page cannot contain them: the final two numbers (the last count is 1,048,576) require large gatefolds to display enough minute, pixel-like dots, an effect as astonishing as it is efficient. Likely to be a hit among educators, Volker’s volume succeeds at engagingly merging art and counting. Ages 4–12. [em](Sept.) [/em]