Pebbles and the Biggest Number: A STEM Adventure for Kids – Ages 4-8
What is the biggest number you can think of? Whether it is a million, a billion, a trillion, or even more, you may still be surprised by just how high numbers can go. Pebbles the inquisitive butterfly is certainly surprised by where his quest to find the highest number in the world takes him in Pebbles and the Biggest Number, an engaging and eye-catching picture book written by Joey Benun and illustrated by Laura Watson.
Pebbles generally starts his day off by counting all the things he can see in his garden, although this limits him to such things as two eyes (his own), four wings (again, his own), and forty-two flowers (arrayed attractively throughout the garden). However, one particular day, Pebbles realizes that his customary numbers are all low numbers, and he begins to consider that there might actually be much higher numbers out there somewhere.
Spurred on by the challenge of learning more, Pebbles flies off in search of the surprising new numbers to be found in diverse areas of the planet. Pebbles begins his search in a desert, where he encounters a camel who suggests that the biggest number might be twenty-seven million, the temperature of the Sun. Pebbles agrees that it is certainly both a big number and a very high temperature, just like in the desert!
After drinking nectar from some wildflowers that the camel shows him, Pebbles continues his journey, visiting exotic locations such a tropical rainforest, a beach, and a snowy mountain. In each new location, he meets a host of new animals and the occasional human, who all offer suggestions as to the identity of the biggest number in the world and also help him when he gets in trouble, including when an eagle has to fly Pebbles out of the path of a tsunami.
As his journey progresses and he encounters more and more new friends, Pebbles learns about increasingly large numbers, right up to the fact that there are five nonillion bacteria living on Earth! Ultimately, Pebbles and the Biggest Number takes Pebbles and readers around the world in the search for the highest number possible, before a familiar face introduces an astonishing concept that might just bring Pebbles’ quest to an end: infinity.
In addition to crafting an entertaining and fun-filled story featuring Pebbles and the many engaging characters that he encounters, Joey Benun includes a host of interesting facts and learning points throughout the book. For instance, Pebbles’ visit to the rainforest is accompanied by the fact that some ants can lift up to fifty times their body weight (which is equivalent to a person lifting a car!) and the number note that one quadrillion has fifteen zeroes.
Given its exciting storyline and the interwoven information, Pebbles and the Biggest Number is both enjoyable and educational, meaning that it should appeal to a wider age range of children than the typical picture book (as well as to the adults reading with them!). Moreover, Laura Watson’s bright and lively illustrations really bring the story to life and provide plenty of detail to spot on each page.
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