Smith, David J. If...A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers, illustrated by Steve Adams. 40 pages. Kids Can Press, 2014. $18.95. NONFICTION. Author David J. Smith does an amazing of job of taking numbers and data that are hard to understand and scaling them down to things that children can understand. For example, if all the water in the world was represented by 100 glasses only 3 of them would be fresh water, and 1 drinkable (page 22). Smith does an excellent job of taking everyday items and using them to represent large data; such as comparing the size of the planets to balls. Earth is the size of a baseball and Neptune the size of a soccer ball. Smith also takes Earth’s history and breaks it up into calendar size ideas, such as, if all the time of Earth’s history was a two-hour DVD, humans only show up for the last second! Illustrator Steve Adams does an excellent job of creating colorful and eye-catching cartoon illustrations. The overall visual lay-out is a 10. Sources and websites are included as well as a note to teachers and parents on how to present the material. Suitable for both lower and upper elementary age children.
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.