How Many?

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
How Many? Book Poster Image
Spectacular, intricate, brain-teasing pop-up.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids and adults alike will be fascinated by this spectacular book full of intricately engineered geometric shapes popping out from each page.

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What's the story?

Colorful triangles, circles, squares, stars, and lines pop up in amazing arrays on the hard cardboard pages. Questions -- some challenging, some not -- are printed in clever arrangements around the outside, inviting the readers to look, and look again at the geometric sculptures presented.

Is it any good?

In only a few wonderful pages, the bright colors, amazingly intricate pop-up shapes, and clever formatting make this book a full-fledged party. Author Ron van der Meer is known as a "pioneer of the modern pop-up," and this spectacular book is the one he thinks is his best. Kids and parents alike will spend hours poring over the designs and the questions that accompany them. Enjoying the pages of this book is a journey into 3-D geometry and the joys of art and color -- it's even a means for developing surprising perspectives.

On their own, the paper sculptures are intriguing to look at, let alone think about. Each is a collection of shapes: full of color, sized differently, attached to each other in very original ways, and otherwise engineered to invite the reader into its complicated world. Then the reader is challenged to lift the book, "turn it around and view it from every angle." Questions are asked, many with no singular answer, and they force the participant to look again and definitely "think outside the box."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the challenges presented on each page of this book. Which ones did you find particulary mind-bending? Did they teach you something new, or did they get you thinking about things in a different way?

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