Review: If, by David J. Smith

A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
by David J. Smith
Format: Hardback / paperback / ebook
Nr of Pages: 40
Expected publication: August 1st 2014 by Kids Can Press
If the Solar System's planets were shrunk down to the size of sports balls, and Earth were the size of a baseball, what size would the other planets be? If your lifespan was represented by a pizza divided into twelve slices, how many slices would represent your time spent in school? These questions and more are explored in this innovative and visually appealing book about very big concepts made accessible when scaled down to kid-friendly size.

Rating: 4/5

For some of us visualizing number can be tricky for instance I remember having a friend in college that couldn't picture numbers on their own, she couldn't visualize 8, she had to visualize 8 pencils or 8 flowers so she could be able to do her math. I know she would loved the possibility to read this book when she was young. I can image it would have made her notion of space, time and numbers a lot easier.
Large numbers can be very confusing so this book tries in a simpler way to help children visualize them. Large numbers like the time that as passed since the creation of the universe or the number of people that are alive today and in which continents became easier to learn once you start seeing them as a measuring tape or slices of pizza.
I quite enjoyed the illustrations in the book and the approach the author took to some of the themes. Did you know that if the whole story of earth was a two hour movie, humans would only appear in the last two seconds? Well neither did I! I find this kind of trivia quite fascinating and both interesting to children and adults alike. I have actually broken the ice at a party with that question. People find it fascinating and because it's easy to understand it makes it easy for people to engage in a conversation.
A very interesting book that I do recommend to read as a family since everyone will benefit from it!

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