Big Numbers and Little Numbers

Big Numbers: And Pictures That Show Just How Big They Are
by Edward Packard; illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca

One pea grows to 10, then 100, and so on, until they spill out the door, across the yard, and become an enormous mountain. The images are funny but also quite effective in conceptualizing the large numbers involved. Powers of 10 are also discussed. The author explains in the back how he made his calculations. Interesting and fun!  Booklist said this book is "Bright and sassy...Could break through all but the strongest math anxiety."

Interest Level:  Grade 1-5

Little Numbers: And Pictures That Show Just How Little They Are
by Edward Packard; illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca
A fun and unique approach to teaching numbers smaller than one using an ever-shrinking dinosaur-- from its original 130 feet long down to a trillionth of its size. ("Shrunk to a hundred-thousandth of its size, it's as small as the dot at the end of this sentence.") The cartoon illustrations add humor and clarify the examples. Great for teaching little numbers and fractions.

Interest Level:  Grade 3-5

Here's a spread from inside Little Numbers. Both books feature this fun, cartoon-style illustrations and have small boxes of text that further expand upon the number being discussed (but are not obtrusive and can be skipped over if reading the book to the class.)  In this illustration, the dinosaur has been shrunk down to one-hundredth of its original size, making it no bigger than a house cat.

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