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A Million Dots    by Andrew Clements & Mike Reed order for
Million Dots
by Andrew Clements
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In A Million Dots, Andrew Clements leads young readers down the path to understanding what a million really means, aided by Mike Reed's delightful, dot-filled pictures. It starts with a page that's blank except for one small dot ... 'One dot is not very many. / It's only one, and that's just one more than none.' Author and illustrator show more dots - 10, 100, 500, 1000 - and then promise to show a million!

They start by telling us that a mosquito's wings beat 600 times a second, and continue with more engagingly illustrated statistical facts, adding each to an accumulating total. Factoids presented include: the number of steps to the top of the Empire State Building; how many miles the Earth travels around the Sun each hour; the weight in pounds of an adult sperm whale; how often a person blinks each week; the speed of light; the number of words in 46 Sherlock Holmes adventures; and (my favorite) the number of chocolate milk cartons needed to fill a swimming pool.

When they finish with all of these (both serious and silly) numbers, the total is a million. This unusual number crunching picture book concludes, 'Like I said so many dots ago, a MILLION is a lot of dots!' A Million Dots will intrigue older kids, who will appreciate the frivolous facts, enjoy having fun with numbers, and perhaps launch their own counting games.

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