SCHOOL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION: The graphic design background of the author/illustrator make this book striking from the start. The book is bold and colourful and delivers an exciting - and somewhat different - approach to visualising size and number through the picturebook format.
A book to promote interest in numbers and wonder at the scale they can represent, with lots to interrogate and talk about.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW: 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.
FUSE EIGHT REVIEW ON BEHALF OF SLJ: It’s not every math book that ends up on the New York Times Best Illustrated List.
This German import dares to show kids what a million looks like on the page. It starts out simple, though. 1+1 = 2. Fair enough. Then it doubles that to 4. Still manageable. With art that makes sense out of these numbers, more and more begin to fill the page. I’ve no doubt you’ll find some meticulous kiddo attempting to count the page that shows 2,048 or even 4,096. Best of all, the book is doubling the numbers so it doesn’t reach a tidy million. No, it reaches 1,048,576, and I hope you like gatefolds because that is the ONLY way they were able to fit them all onto the pages. Neat execution for a cool idea.
KIDS BOOK BUZZ REVIEW (by Alexandria, Aged 8): A Million Dots is breathtaking. It has so many dots in it, you can even lose track. I think anyone who’s interested in math, numbers, or counting would like this book. A beautifully illustrated mathematical book.
IBBY UK REVIEW BY DR. KARENANNE KNIGHT: This is a beautiful book for counting games. Children love to count the dots, but what happens when there are too many dots to count? It created some amazing discussions in the classroom and is also something that can be used in an art class introducing artists such as Seurat and pointillism.
The very graphic nature of the illustrations align themselves to the mathematical concept of the book. The book can be used in many ways. It accentuates a sense of wonder as the numbers get bigger and bigger and this further highlighted through the pull out pages towards the end. A very clever book that promotes numerous scenarios for curious children, and has been listed in the New York Times top 10 best illustrated children’s books of 2019.
SCHOOL READING LIST REVIEW: Potential goldmine of teaching ideas.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW: Minimalist design meets math in this mind-boggling visualization of numbers up to more than one million. Starting with one tree—a large green circle stacked atop a small brown rectangle—then two; subsequent spreads double numbers as a page turn reveals four apples on the branch, then eight on the ground beneath their autumnal parents. From 16 on, the arboreal thread is dropped as disparate images help readers envisage the sums: a ladybug sports 16 spots, a glass of effervescent drink fizzes with 128 bubbles, and 256 freckles span a face. As the numerical figures increase in size, the dots become smaller until a single page cannot contain them: the final two numbers (the last count is 1,048,576) require large gatefolds to display enough minute, pixel-like dots, an effect as astonishing as it is efficient. Likely to be a hit among educators, Volker’s volume succeeds at engagingly merging art and counting. Ages 4–12.
THE BOOK ACTIVIST REVIEW: A quirky picture book that does exactly what the title says – brings a million dots to life! A remarkable visualisation of numbers, A Millions Dots makes a great book to share and I can imagine some young readers would want to count them all too!
READING ZONE REVIEW: This is a gorgeous book! Fantastic for promoting maths with younger children.
A Million Dots is also gorgeous; it's stylish, and the dots form the illustrations on the pages. It would be perfect to use when helping children to visualise big numbers, as well as introducing doubling. You can use it in class with children of all ages - and it provides a great art/maths cross curricular link.
YOUTH SERVICES BOOK REVIEW: There is not a story but there can be some interesting discussion associated with this book. While reading, kids can chime in on other things that might have 16 dots, or 1,024 dots or even 1,048,576 dots–could lend itself to some lively discussion. As an added bonus, the last page opens up to reveal a panoramic page that is about 4 feet long — kids love this kind of thing!
LINDA'S BOOK BAG REVIEW: My goodness, what a clever book. A Million Dots is a perfect book to support both literacy and numeracy as well as create a sense of wonder. Doubling a number is the focus, but as the numbers grow the illustrations alongside them are perfectly presented to include the appropriate number of dots. I loved the way the numbers are represented visually through the images, numerically through the numbers and linguistically through the words so that A Million Dots helps make concrete what can be a very abstract concept in learning.
I actually gasped aloud with a smile at the end of the book when I found ‘one million. forty-eight thousand, five hundred and seventy six’ dots over a pull out page. For such a simple concept, A Million Dots is beautifully and effectively presented and although this is a book for children, I think it would be a lovely gift to any adult interested in numbers too.
LET THEM BE SMALL REVIEW: A fantastic book and it’s fun to see how the dots change what the picture is – a tree, a ladybird and rain.
PARENTS IN TOUCH REVIEW: This is one for everyone who has wondered at the sheer enormity of numbers - and they will be even more in awe by the time they've finished!
PAUL ET PAULA REVIEW: A new book favourite in our house and oh so cute. And oh so wonderfully illustrated… and it includes some maths too!
NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS BOOK AWARDS REVIEW: Children are fascinated by big numbers and when I presented them with this book, they instantly wanted to check that the sum was correct - and then count the number of dots! With the lower numbers, this was easy, but it soon led to conversations about finding shortcuts and using what they know about number to help them. The pictures where the majority of dots are arranged into rectangles allowed them to count columns and rows whereas the scattered pictures produced different challenges. Were there 2,048 stars reflected in the ocean the boat sails on? Was the moon-and its reflection- included in the total count? The quality of mathematical language and thinking, however, was amazing to listen to. There were, of course, those who just wanted to believe all the dots were there and just enjoy the concept and artwork!
The choice of image also provoked discussion. Are the 64 dots Smarties tumbling from a tube? Confetti from a party popper? Is that the pink tail of the mouse curled round the edge of the page opposite? How many pages would a picture containing 2,097,152 dots need? How small would those dots need to be? The effect of the dots as they got smaller and closer together also led to discussions about pointillism and the work of artists like Georges Seurat.
Simple, yet stunning, ‘A Million Dots’ is a great book for exploring and discussing numbers wherever you are!
IT'S ALL ABOUT STORIES FB REVIEW: The simple but powerful story is a visual tale of one dot doubling on each page to become 1,048,576 dots! A wonderfully simple way to introduce young children to concepts of number.
MY SHELVES ARE FULL REVIEW: An incredible doubling journey for budding mathematicians! Starting with one, then 2, 4 and all the way up past 1 million! The dots are used to form raindrops, stars, grass and a cityscape. Impossible to count for yourself, you are forced to simply enjoy the image!
A completely unique way to look at numbers, and it takes the concept of doubling to new levels. I can see this being very popular with our younger readers as they delight with the climbing numbers.
CELEBRATE PICTURE BOOKS REVIEW: An entertaining and educational way to relay the idea of number to kids at home or in the classroom, A Million Dots will elicit multiple exclamations of “Wow!” as the numbers add up. The book is available for preorder and releases in the U.S. on September 13.
- Top 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2019