cover image Millions, Billions, and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers

Millions, Billions, and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers

David A. Adler, illus. by Edward Miller. Holiday House, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2403-0

Math book veterans Adler and Miller put giant numbers into perspective by using familiar frames of reference and by appealing to readers’ imaginations: “How many ice cream sundaes would one billion dollars buy? At five dollars a Sunday, you could buy one thousand sundaes every day for more than five hundred years.” Real-world examples (New York City has a population of over eight million people) combine with more fanciful ways to conceptualize these quantities (“One trillion dollars would make a stack [of dollar bills] about seven hundred miles high”), and Miller’s eye-popping digital cartoons help make these intimidatingly massive numbers more digestible. And for those up for even more of a mental challenge: an author’s note tackles quadrillions, quintillions, and sextillions. Ages 6–10. (Mar.)