Next book

A HUNDRED BILLION TRILLION STARS

An auspicious primer on some very big numbers.

Huge numbers take on an even bigger scale in Fishman and Greenberg’s insightful, awe-inspiring picture book.

A secret shared between narrator and the reader kicks things off: “The sun is just a star. / And there are (maybe) 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.” (Readers will be grateful for the “a hundred billion trillion” printed in the corner.) Stars too many to count, in various sizes and shapes, fill the double-page spread, illustrating the comically large number centered on the page. It’s enough to leave most flabbergasted, but Fishman aims for much more as he zeroes in on one particular blue-and-green planet. Even this celestial orb has its secrets: “Blue because it’s covered by 370,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water. Green because it’s covered in 3,000,000,000,000 trees.” From there it’s all about the (innumerable) details. For example, 10 quadrillion ants may equal 7.5 billion humans in weight (as terrifying as that sounds); meanwhile, 420 million dogs or guitars lined up head to foot circle the Earth about 10 times. The figures aren’t precise, but quibbling over exactness almost misses the point of the book. A constant throughout this excursion, however, is Greenberg’s digital artwork, which features bold, thick lines, vibrant colors and shapes, and a diverse cast of nameless characters. More notable perhaps is the author’s persistent focus on the reader: “There’s only one of YOU.” Such a statement threatens to veer into ham-fisted territory, but here it serves to underline how amazing it is to be the only one.

An auspicious primer on some very big numbers. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245578-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Next book

I AM MONEY

An educational and uplifting foundation in financial mindsets and rules of thumb.

A walking, talking billfold of cash takes readers through the ins and outs of money.

Held together by a shiny gold clip and often accompanied by anthropomorphic coins, our narrator is a smiley, positive presence who eats pizza and rides a bike, just like us! Money explains its value as well as how to earn it (mowing lawns, selling lemonade), spend it, save it, and share it. The narrator uses clothing as a metaphor to explain different forms of money—sometimes the narrator dons “digital and crypto clothes,” though the author doesn’t elaborate on these. A similar reference to “credit card coats” is accompanied by a warning on overspending. Most commendable are reminders of readers' self-worth: Though readers are encouraged to invest in themselves, it’s made abundantly clear that money does not confer value to people. A message about earning interest is followed by a wordless page of coins and bills passing by a bank and a credit union—concepts that are a bit too advanced to describe in detail for this book’s audience. For now, tracking savings in a clear jar (not a piggy bank) is advanced enough. A guinea pig appears throughout the cheerful, textured art, making a suitably cute sidekick for the narrator.

An educational and uplifting foundation in financial mindsets and rules of thumb. (money tips) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781728271262

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023

Next book

A WORLD TOGETHER

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Close Quickview