Read If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J.Smith Steve Adams Online


"Some things are so huge or so old that it's hard to wrap your mind around them. But what if we took these big, hard-to-imagine objects and events and compared them to things we can see, feel and touch? Instantly, we'd see our world in a whole new way." So begins this endlessly intriguing guide to better understanding all those really big ideas and numbers children come ac"Some things are so huge or so old that it's hard to wrap your mind around them. But what if we took these big, hard-to-imagine objects and events and compared them to things we can see, feel and touch? Instantly, we'd see our world in a whole new way." So begins this endlessly intriguing guide to better understanding all those really big ideas and numbers children come across on a regular basis. Author David J. Smith 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). Accompanying each description is a kid-friendly drawing by illustrator Steve Adams that visually reinforces the concept. By simply reducing everything to human scale, Smith has made the incomprehensible easier to grasp, and therefore more meaningful. The children who just love these kinds of fact-filled, knock-your-socks-off books will want to read this one from cover to cover. It will find the most use, however, as an excellent classroom reference that can be reached for again and again when studying scale and measurement in math, and also for any number of applications in social studies, science and language arts. For those who want to delve a little deeper, Smith has included six suggestions for classroom projects. There is also a full page of resource information at the back of the book....

Title : If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781894786348
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 40 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers Reviews

  • ❀angela
    2019-03-16 04:10

    This book blew me away, from the the gorgeous illustrations to the startling concepts. However, it might be a little wordy for young children.*I won a copy through a goodreads giveaway*

  • Bruce Gargoyle
    2019-03-22 08:26

    Full review at http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress... (Aug 1)I received a digital copy of this title for review from Netgalley.This book does exactly what it says on the box (well, cover). Each double page spread deals with a particular quantity or size that is difficult to conceptualise and with the aid of delightful and inspiring illustrations, puts things into metaphorical perspective. The concepts include the size of the galaxy, the relative time span of various historical events, and relative wealth distribution across nations. This is a nifty and engaging follow-on from Smith’s original masterpiece, If the World Were a Village that presents some fantastically fun representations of numbers and ideas that might otherwise make your head explode. Although this book and its predecessor are ostensibly for middle grade children, there is plenty here for older readers to get their teeth into. As well as the parts of the book that contain the “Wow! Isn’t that amazing!” sort of moments, such as the galaxy reduced to the size of sports balls, Smith has once again included information that invites reflection on the social and personal implications of seemingly objective statistics. Information about wealth distribution and life expectancy by continent will prompt the more savvy young reader to ask why such things might be so. Might I suggest that if you are a teacher of children in this age group (or even older ones!) this book will make a conversation-starting addition to your classroom library.The illustrations are a major drawcard in this book too. The formatting of the information, coupled with the bright, descriptive pictures make this a book that you want to pore over. With information scattered across each double page spread, it’s also designed to be read with a friend.This is a must-read book in my opinion. I would also recommend it for those who struggle to make conversation at dinner parties.

  • Puddlyduck
    2019-03-16 04:17

    Disclaimer: thank you to netgalley and Kids Can Press for a copy of this book.'If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers' is a fantastic book which helps children (and adults!) visualise large statistics in a manageable and imaginative way. For example, the statement 'If all the money in the world was represented by 100 coins....' is demonstrated by beautifully illustrated piles of coins with different amounts of little people standing atop of them. 40 of those coins would be owned by the 1% of the worlds richest! 40 coins! Seeing that one tiny little figure standing upon that tallest pile just really hit home for me. This book is enjoyable and illuminating for child and adult alike.

  • Elaine
    2019-03-23 05:34

    A superb book that makes it easier for children (and adults!) to understand some facts that are either so huge or so old by relating them to more familiar things they can see and touch. For example, the relative sizes of planets in our solar system are compared by each being shown as a different type of ball.The brilliant illustrations help increase comprehension of amazing facts and figures, using scales, maps, timelines, everyday objects and items. There are additional ideas for parents and teachers to follow up and utilise similar techniques for other huge facts and figures. I could easily see teachers using this book as a starting point for exploring other huge facts and getting their pupils to develop their own analogies to make them more comprehensible to others - brilliant!Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley too for letting me read this book in exchange for this, an honest review.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-08 08:19

    Science is so cool, and so is history, don't you think? Particularly when you can take something very difficult to wrap one's head around (How far away is Saturn? How big is it?) and put it into everyday terms (distances on a football field, or days on a calendar). If . . . will bend your mind in exciting ways, giving you new ways to contemplate things you may already know. An excellent diving-in point for kids and classroom teachers!

  • Edward Sullivan
    2019-03-03 11:28

    Great job reducing difficult concepts and huge numbers to concepts children can appreciate and understand.

  • Dana
    2019-02-24 03:17

    Awesome way to present important and interesting facts and ideas to young readers. Definitely one of my favorites (for children) of 2014!

  • Ian Wood
    2019-03-09 11:05

    This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's novels reviewed on the blog will generally have some images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a novel is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate a novel three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).I rated this novel WORTHY!This book is exactly as advertised: A mind-bending new way of looking at big ideas and numbers. Well - apart form the 'new' bit. This kind of thing has been done before, for example in the Cosmos TV series, but not quite so extensively. It is a remarkable and amazing book which not only reminded me of things I'd all-but-forgotten (to my shame!), it also educated me about some things of which everyone ought really to be aware, so this isn't just a really attention-grabbing and educational book for children (written by a teacher). Everyone can benefit from its successful effort to tame out-sized numbers and bring facts down to a level where we can really see and appreciate them for what they are.The chapter headers (the chapters are really short and copiously illustrated) are quite arresting enough as it is: If Our Galaxy The Planets History of Earth Life on Earth Events of the last 3000 Years Inventions Through Time Inventions of the Last 1000 Years The Continents Water Species of Living things Money Energy Life Expectancy Population Food Your Life A Note for Parents and Teachers SourcesSome of this book's content might seem fantastical or counter-intuitive at first glance, but as far as I could tell (without trying to run down every single thing that was in the book!), the author is right on the money. When it comes to information like this, it's not the facts that are in error. What's in error is our inability to appreciate them for what they mean, and for what they can teach us about this world upon which we're so completely dependent. The fossil fuel reliance fact alone is shocking.I recommend this book for children - that way you can buy it for them, but sneak a quick read without having to feel embarrassed. Better yet, volunteer to read through it with them and thereby misdirect everyone from your ulterior motive! And I won't even charge you for sending that sneaky scheme your way...!

  • Storywraps
    2019-03-03 04:12

    "If " is an amazing book. The concepts are mind-bending and attainable for finite minds, just like mine. David Smith takes concepts that are so humungous and so ancient that we cannot even conceive of making sense of them. He is brilliant as he shapes these overwhelming, hard-to-imagine ideas and compares them to everyday things that we can see and are familiar with, thus bringing them down to a level that we can comprehend. Kids will be amazed and very interested as one after another these facts are presented to them. Boys especially will be drawn to this book and both genders will go back again and again to absorb its wisdom. Smith has cleverly scaled down the history of the Earth into a one-year span - (time-lines), all the wealth in the world divided into one hundred coins - (quantities), and the planet's sizes shown by different size balls - (size comparisons). The illustrations augment the concepts and are a welcome addition to the seeing can be finally be believing. This book would be a wonderful add-on for any classroom. It is always fantastic to awaken the sense of awe and imagination that is present in kids (and adults) minds alike. If you want to learn more, Smith has thrown in six classroom projects to pursue and there is also a full page of resource material at the back of the book to delve into. Highly recommended.

  • Andréa
    2019-03-09 05:14

    I love this concept! As someone who struggles with concepts of scale myself, I appreciate the attempt to make large ideas and numbers more understandable and relatable. However, I think it could have been executed better.For me, the "Events of the Last 3000 Years" spread was actually more confusing than a standard timeline. The spread of "The Continents" is also confusing, mostly because South America is a smaller percentage (3%) than North America (4.1%), but the South American portion of the page actually looks large since it's a skinnier but longer rectangle. Similarly, the "Money" page seemed a bit misrepresentative to me: 1 man stands on top of a single stack of 40 coins, to depict 1% of the population having 40% of the money, while 9 people stand on top of 45 coins split into two stacks, to depict 9% of the population having 45% of the money. Technically, the 9 people are on top of more coins than the 1 man, but since the coins are split into two shorter stacks than the one single stack of the 1%-er, it appears at first glance to be fewer coins.Overall, I think it's a good effort to introduce concepts of scale to kids, and I don't know of many other books that do so. But there's definitely some room for improvement.Note: I received a digital galley of this book through NetGalley.

  • Mauri
    2019-03-20 05:27

    A whoops-should-have-kept-my-Amazon-wishlist-updated acquisition - thanks mom.Nice art, has the effect of old paint on wooden surfaces.I really didn't get the "mind-bending new" bit of the way the subject matter was presented. Books and posters using everyday objects to help children grasp the scale of very large objects or numbers have been around since I was a child (so, at least 25 years), and I suspect they predate me by quite a bit.This was repetitive in places - there are three spreads in a row demonstrating various prehistorical and historical events, for example. What if the last 10 million years were an hour? What if the last 3000 years were a month! What if the last 500 years were a ruler?! WHAT IF I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ANYMORE ARRRRRGH!A bit US/Western hemisphere-centric, which is okay for me since they say my children will likely be American. It does have the odd side effect of diplomatically including all three "discoveries" of America in the month spread, with the result that 10% of the last 3000 years is people arriving in North America. 'MURICA.

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-24 10:13

    A unique book that shrinks down concepts that are hard to wrap your brain around to a familiar and smaller scale. This book was helpful to me, even as an adult and I know I would have loved this book as a child. Besides putting large concepts on a smaller scale for comparison, seeing things on a smaller scale also helps us see the significance of everything we have. For example, "If all the water on Earth were represented by 100 glasses...97 of the glasses would be filled with salt water...3 of the glasses would contain fresh water. One of the glasses would represent all the fresh water available to us." With colorful and imaginative pictures, these concepts can be seen in a new and easily relateable way. If... explores concepts from the galaxy, to species diversity, to money distribution, energy usages and population dynamics. At the end there is also extra information about activities to build more things to scale. A great book for wondering minds. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  • Venus
    2019-03-04 03:29

    Review originally posted on Children's AtheneumNumbers are big. Huge. Some are so astronomically big that it is almost impossible to imagine them. And so David Smith tries to narrow it down. Imagine if all the world's wealth were 100 gold coins. How would those 100 coins be distributed throughout the world? Imagine that the planets were the sizes of balls. Taking things like population, the size of the universe, history, Smith scales them down to a number that is easier to comprehend. Although written for children, I think this book has a very universal appeal, because the truth is, even adults have a hard time imagining how big our universe really is. Numbers are big and this book does a terrific job of making those numbers manageable.

  • Amy Alvis
    2019-03-12 11:16

    This is definitely a book I want in my teacher library. It covers many topics including: Our Galaxy, The Planets, Inventions through Time, Species of Living Things, Energy and many more.Children have such a hard time understanding large numbers. The page about the Planets is something I will definitely be using when I teach our Earth and Space Science unit. The author used everyday items that my students (and yours) can relate to when describing the size of the planets in relationship to each other.The illustrations by Steve Adams are amazing and very kid-friendly.This book definitely belongs in your classroom!!Thanks go out to Kids Can Press via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.

  • Dana
    2019-02-26 04:21

    With cute, fun illustrations, this book puts extremely large numbers into a new perspective. From the size of our galaxy to the age of the earth to life expectancy, population, food and more, this book gives a unique look at the size of the numbers involved. For example: "If all the enerty sources in the world were represented by 100 light bulbs... fossil fuels would power 81 of the 100 light bulbs." I think this book is fabulous and should be in all school libraries and all public libraries. It is a fun, informative book to share with children and people of all ages. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-23 09:34

    I really appreciate the way that David Smith can represent concepts in a way that can be understood (this works particularly well in terms of time - given the age in which humans have been on earth), and then adding into that the various inventions, and very big ideas, such as the differences in water use, energy consumption, etc., around the planet. This would be a phenomenal resource for a wide variety of ages, as it would work not only for introducing these concepts but also provide a springboard for discussing them, as students that can grasp them may then grapple with their implications.

  • Tanja
    2019-03-22 03:04

    This book is absolutely brilliant! A fantastic resource to get students intrigued about the world around them; to give them a sense of size and proportion for things that are far too big to understand otherwise. I learned so much myself! Totally intriguing!What an amazing resource too to provoke interest, curiosity and questions at the beginning of a unit of inquiry. The examples I came across would fit Where We Are In Place and Time, Sharing the Planet, Who We Are, Who the World Works... and more. I wish I had a copy for each of our classrooms.

  • Alice
    2019-03-10 05:32

    This concept, which is huge, was presented in such a friendly way. I admit, I read it twice in one sitting because I thought i might have missed something. We have no idea who immense and minute the universe and the things in it really are, but these comparisons are comparisons a kid can wrap his or her head around and have it make sense. I recommend this one for all libraries. The page to parents and teachers was a huge help as well.

  • Monika
    2019-03-22 03:30

    Huge concepts are scaled down to help kids wrap their minds around facts such as the age of the earth, the size of our galaxy, etc. A great "grow with me" kind of book to go back to for several years. Not only is the artwork stunning, it supports the ideas presented on the page. Cool book! Read my full review of this title at A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall.

  • Debbie Tanner
    2019-03-09 06:08

    This gorgeous picture book makes graphical representations of some big ideas, like the size of the solar system, the age of the earth, the size of continents and the ocean (my favorite). The pictures are beautiful and the explanations are simple with out being simplistic. This is going to be a "need to have" for a Montessori classroom.

  • Kelsey Gourd
    2019-02-28 09:16

    If presents abstract concepts of numbers, very confusing to children, in a concrete way of understanding data and information. Even adults will read this imaginative data-driven book and say "Wow! I didn't realize that!" Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tracey
    2019-02-28 11:23

    The author uses everyday objects to explain the scale of such concepts as world population, the solar system, food production, and more...making it easier for children (and adults) to visualize these large numbers and distances.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-27 07:27

    This book addresses a wide variety of topics and breaks down typically hard-to-grasp ideas for students. My third graders will enjoy the different ways information is presented, and I know that the book will spark interesting discussions with them.

  • pati
    2019-03-04 07:21

    Such a clever book! I love how everything is measured in a really cool way that puts things into perspective.

  • Emily
    2019-02-26 08:26

    Great book for curious kids!The scaled thought exercises use ideas represented by familiar objects. A great resource for teachers to bring perspective to large concepts.

  • Rosemond Cates
    2019-03-10 09:11

    Mind blowing!

  • Cocoispuffed
    2019-03-21 10:05

    This book clears everything up about the size of everything. I am very mind blown from this book that I won from the giveaways. I am so much smarter from this "childrens" book.

  • Kristina
    2019-03-10 07:34

    Summary:If... takes the reader through different chapters to discover (or see more concretely) the relative scale of some really large (or small) numbers that we encounter on a daily basis. The size of the continents, the allocation of wealth, and our solar system to name a few.Evaluation:While I did not fact check every single piece of information in this book, it does seem to be accurate in it's representation of scale and numbers. Some illustrations might be a bit confusing, especially the one where 1 person is standing on 40 coins to represent owning 40% of the wealth, and 9 people standing on 45 coins to represent 45% of the wealth, but the 45 coins are split into two stacks making it seem like the 40 coins is actually a larger portion of the wealth. The section on the solar system is a great example of scale.Teacher Recommendation:Use in science for helping children to understand scale of the solar system. Also use in math when talking about percentages and proportions.

  • Jill
    2019-02-24 05:25

    This was a cool book. I grabbed it off the shelf at the library to read to myself while my kids browsed. After page two where the galaxy is compared to a dinner plate (and our solar system on that dinner plate would be smaller than the speck of illustrated dust) I couldn't help reading it aloud to my kids. If I started to read it to myself again, they'd tap the page and ask me to read it.It was a fun and colorfully illustrated way of simply explaining scale and large numbers from the universe to history, inventions, water, money and food.

  • Hailey
    2019-03-24 08:14

    I found this was an interesting book in the way it conveyed such complex topics visually and into more manageable and understandable constructs. The illustrations are wonderful and add to being able to understand the grandness of the information. As an adult I felt it was cool to understand things from the more manageable perspective. I look forward to sharing it with my young nephews and seeing how they feel about the book!