Menotti ’95 helps young children understand large numbers

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Andrea Menotti ’95 (Photo: Courtesy Andrea Menotti)

New book: How Many Jelly Beans? A Giant Book of Giant Numbers!, by Andrea Menotti ’95, illustrated by Yancey Labat (Chronicle Books)

 
The author: A children’s book editor and writer who worked for Scholastic and Chronicle Books, Menotti spent a few years as a teacher in the New York City public schools. For the past two years, she has been working on an M.B.A. at Cornell. Menotti is married to the book’s illustrator. After reading her book, she hopes “children come away with a very concrete idea of what a million is, and more familiarity with other large numbers, like hundreds of thousands.”
 
The book: This large picture book for children 3-years-old to 8 features Emma and her brother Aiden who talk about how many jelly beans they would like to eat. Emma starts out with a small number – 10 – but the number grows, eventually to a million – which is dramatically illustrated on a large foldout page at the end of the book.
 

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Reviews: Publishers Weekly called the book “utterly delightful. … The bright jelly beans are one of the few sources of color in Labat’s loosely sketched spreads, which culminate in a jaw-dropping 10-panel foldout finale for one million jelly beans.” Kirkus Reviews wrote, “The page depicting how Aiden would divvy 100,000 jelly beans among the different flavors works especially well, picturing single-color circles clearly labeled with the different amounts. … This helps readers learn to estimate.”
 
Opening lines: “How many jelly beans would you like, Emma? Hmmm … Ten!”