A Mind-bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers

Book - 2014
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Author has found clever devices to scale down everything from time lines (the history of Earth compressed into one year), to quantities (all the wealth in the world divided into one hundred coins), to size differences (the planets shown as different types of balls).
Publisher: Toronto, ON : Kids Can Press, c2014.
ISBN: 9781894786348
Branch Call Number: 500 SMITH
Characteristics: 40 p. : col. ill., col. map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Adams, Steve 1967-


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forbesrachel Jun 01, 2015

Time, size, and numbers can be the hardest things for us to comprehend when they are on a scale so much larger, or smaller, than us. Our minds know what a million is, but only conceptually, when faced with the actuality, it is mind-blowing. If...takes these things and shrinks them down to a more manageable scale, using balls, measuring tape, plates, the leaves on a tree, and more to help us. As one would expect, the pictures are essential to our understanding; when comparing size, the sizes of the objects need to be accurate, for time, only landmark events could be represented or else it would have become cluttered, and in the case of numbers, it had to be divided in a meaningful way. The information in the text only means something when accompanied by a visual representation. Little boxes on the side expand on each comparison, giving more interesting facts. Most of the comparisons will be a surprise, but others are quite amusing, such as how in a two hour movie about the history of Earth "humans would appear in the last second of the video" (pg10). First up is "Our Galaxy", something very big, incomprehensible, and distantly important, yet as we progress, we move towards concepts much closer to our specific selves, finally ending with "Your Life". For educators there is a section in the back about scale. Plenty of others have attempted this concept before, but none have achieved this degree of success.

May 27, 2015

This is a fascinating book! Very quick read but it puts our world, history, even the universe in perspective that everyone can relate to. Highly recommended for teachers, kids, parents, all ages.

May 17, 2015

SUMMARY: In this book, science and numbers are scaled down into easy to understand units. Such as: If the events of the last 3000 years were fit in a month on a calendar, this is what it would look like. If the Milky Way we're shrunk to the size of a dinner plate, our whole solar system would be smaller than a speck of dust. If all species of living things were represented by a tree with 1000 leaves, 753 leaves would be animals.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations are quite beautiful, nicely spaced, and add greatly to the interest factor.

THE GOOD: As a teacher, this is a book I would have quickly snatched up for myself to use in class. It has so many applications due to the wide range of subjects discussed. This is also a book that satisfies the highly curious child, one who loves facts. I loved looking at our world in a brand new way, especially as I am a visual person. Seeing the world broken down into smaller bits helped me understand it so much better.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Age 8-12 (or slightly younger for gifted students)

Chasthology May 09, 2015

Conceptually and graphically excellent. The evolution "deep time" concept is a philosophical notion more that it is scientific, but it is presented in several compelling fashion. Thus, the little children get an early start on the path to realizing they are only insignificant motes of dust floating randomly in a heartless, meaningless universe destined for eternal, chilly, entropic death. What's not to like?

Mar 29, 2015

Cool way to look at big numbers such as amount of water on earth's surface, age or earth, size of the galaxy, wealth distribution, how we spend our time and more. As educational for adults as it is for kids!

KCLSRecommends Oct 07, 2014

Subtitle says it all: great illustrations (and text) to convey on each page the history of the earth or all about the world's water or energy or money!

JCLChristiH Aug 21, 2014

Really cool graphic representations of very large ideas and concepts scaled down to make them easier to understand.

Age Suitability

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Apr 05, 2016

6semkereaders thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

spl_merley Dec 20, 2015

spl_merley thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

May 17, 2015

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12


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