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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Can You Count to a Googol?
By Robert E. Wells
Albert Whitman and Company

Can You Count to a Googol? is not only a fun book, but one that actually makes sense, as much as is possible, of really big numbers. It begins with number 1 and adds zeros one page at a time. One is the number of bananas you could balance on your nose if you were a good banana balancer. One with a zero behind it is ten, ten times ten is a hundred...

The silly drawings do a great job of illustrating the various numbers (Picture one hundred penguins each holding ten scoops of ice cream in a cone), multiplying by ten all the way up to a trillion. After this, it jumps to a quadrillion, a quintillion, an octillion, and then a googol. The book makes a point of showing the numbers as numerals, as written numbers, and when possible as illustrations that at least somewhat represent the numbers' size. The very last page even tells of the googol's history. Your kids will love knowing that a 9-year-old named it!

There are some references to evolution; what more obvious way to discuss millions of years, right? This is a minor issue, however, and one easily discussed with your children. I would not let it keep me from buying a book that does such an outstanding job of teaching large numbers.


Can You Count to a Googol?

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