"Showing kids what big numbers really mean and how to use them well requires some mathematical subtlety. Great Estimations is a model of how to do it right….With its cleanly arranged, stark-against-white photographs, Great Estimations is interactive in the old-fashioned way. It invites kids to do what they do best with picture books: stare at the pictures, enter them in their mind’s eye, and get something done while they’re in there."
The New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice
"Goldstone adds another winner to the growing canon of titles that make learning math concepts both fun and interesting….This well-designed book will add zing to many a math lesson and attract browsers as well."
School Library Journal
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I’ve been estimating things since I was a kid. How many bricks in that wall? leaves on that tree? blades of grass in the lawn? At first, the questions seemed impossible. But I started to break them down into smaller, more manageable ideas. Over time, I came up with the estimation strategies I share in these books.
Making these books was a real treat for me because I got to put the photos together. Well, most of them. Some of the photos, like the bunnies and the penguins, I bought from a photo service. But I arranged the photos of objects like cereal, cherries (they’re plastic!), and rubber cockroaches. Depending on the photo, I usually spent between one and four hours crawling around on the floor in the studio, setting things up. Then the photographers, Arnold Katz and his son Dave, lit the set-up and snapped a very high resolution digital photo.
I still love estimating, and hope that I\ve convinced at least a few readers that big numbers aren't scary. I'm not a math whiz—I just think that numbers are as much fun to play with as words, bouncy balls, or rubber roaches.
Speaking of bouncy balls, not all of my great ideas work out. We spent a full day in the studio throwing around hundreds of rubber balls to try to get an exciting, dynamic image for this book. We tried freezing the balls mid-air with a super-fast shutter speed and we tried letting the shutter stay open to let the balls blur so we could get a sense of motion. But in the end, none of the photos really captured the fun of bouncing a ball,. So the shot didn't make it into the book. I'm only sorry that we didn't take a bit of video of the cool ball-dropping machine that David Katz helped to design. Ah, well...
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