Can You Count to a Googol?

Robert E. Wells

Similar to On Beyond a Million, this book begins with one and moves up through powers of ten, building up to googol. The focus here, though, is not as much on the powers of ten themselves, but on visualizing how large the numbers really are. The colorful illustrations of things like 1,000 scoops of ice cream, 100,000 marshmallows, and 1,000,000 dollars allow children to fully visualize the size of these numbers. While children cannot be shown how big a googol is, the author does a good job of helping them imagine it. “If you counted every grain of sand on all the world’s beaches, and every drop of water in all the oceans, that wouldn’t even be close to a googol.” The last page also gives a short history of googol, what the number is and where the name came from. 

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