Greater Estimations


Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
Another sure-fire winner for math teachers and school libraries alike, this follow-up to Great Estimations recaps the basic estimation methods (eye-training, clump-counting, box-and-count) and gives readers several opportunities to practice them. But then the author gets tricky, mixing up the groups of objects with things of vastly different sizes, unevenly spreading them across a surface or irregularly layering them. Finally, readers will be challenged to use what they have learned to estimate length, height, weight, area and volume (in both U.S. customary and metric units). The “Hints” boxes at the bottom of each page give readers a starting point, as well as help with some of the mathematics involved in estimating large numbers of objects. Speech bubbles add some levity to a subject that children often find difficult, especially since there are no concrete “correct” answers (in either real life or in this text). Most importantly, the author’s note gives specific examples of the ways estimation skills are pivotal to many professions, giving readers extra motivation to push toward mastery. Don’t underestimate this one’s value.


The New York Times Book Review
…in Greater Estimations…[Goldstone] reveals all the tricks for [estimating] swiftly and accurately: eye training, clump counting and so on. Is that cool? I don’t know. But it’s empowering—dare I say fun?—to have an instinctive grasp of really big numbers. And, when you grow up, you can get a job with the N.Y.P.D. estimating the size of the crowd when Simon and Garfunkel sing in Central Park.
— Jim Holt


Children’s Literature
This book is an excellent supplement to an elementary school math curriculum, whether it is used in a center at school or as part of a project at home. It is a nonfiction book that does not need to be read cover to cover in order for readers to appreciate the illustrations and thorough examples of the ways to explore estimating. The author begins by explaining that estimating is not guessing, but rather thinking, eye training, clump counting, or box counting. Each page contains an example of a strategy for estimating, with a well-designed photographic picture to illustrate the concept. For example, “box counting” means counting the number of items in a small box, then determining how many boxes there are. The page that follows the simple explanation contains a more complicated example. This pattern is followed throughout the entire book. Each page has a “hint” at the bottom, presumably designed for a parent or teacher to further explain or provide concrete extensions. The information contained in this book is masterfully presented so that a child could read it and then actually apply each of the strategies for estimation.
— Charles E. Kreinbucher


School Library Journal
Goldstone builds on the topics introduced in Great Estimations and also discusses how to estimate length, weight, area, and volume. He does an exceptional job of breaking down the process so that even early elementary students can comprehend it. The author also effectively introduces different methods of estimation, including the “box and count” technique and clump counting. The vivid, eye-catching photographs are the highlight of the book. Each page or spread features a simple question in large, bold text, followed by a short explanation of how to achieve the answer. Hint boxes appear on almost every page. Speech bubbles emanate from critters throughout the book, adding a humorous touch. An author’s note provides information on how adults use estimations as a part of their everyday lives. With an appealing layout that lends itself equally well to browsing or curriculum support, this lively book would be an excellent addition.

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