A Million Dots

Cicada. Sept. 2019. 44p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781908714664.
Gr 1-4–What does a million dots really look like? Beginning with the number one, a single, large dot fills the page. One plus one is two, so next, a second dot joins the fun. Two plus two means that four dots then appear. Each page adds to the previous page’s total to require increasingly more dots in each image. Once the number reaches one million, one page is no longer sufficient to hold all the dots, so the image stretches beyond the bounds of the book itself. While counting books are common in the libraries of young children, this particular book is memorable and unique. On each page, the number shown is represented in three ways—digits, written language, and dot form—to enhance comprehension. Instead of climbing from one to 10 in a linear fashion, adding larger numbers together means that children are exposed to numbers they might not otherwise encounter. The illustrations are comprised of simple shapes, clearly representing objects such as trees, boats, and buildings. Readers will recognize the images and be able to count each of the dots present if they so desire. As the numbers get larger, the dots become smaller and more space is required to accommodate them all; this leads to the final page stretching nearly an adult’s arm’s length once it is fully unfolded.
VERDICT This is an unusual and profound addition to children’s book collections emphasizing the concepts of math and design.

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