How Tall, How Short, How Far Away

How Tall, How Short, How Far Away

5.0 1
by David A. Adler, Nancy Tobin
Introduces several measuring systems such as the Egyptian, inch-pound, and metric system.


Introduces several measuring systems such as the Egyptian, inch-pound, and metric system.

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Bousquin
The author and illustrator of two previous math books (Shape Up! and Fraction Fun) team up again to present methods of measuring in their hands-on, let's-have-fun style. They begin by offering practical ways for readers to apply the measuring units of ancient Egypt (digit, palm, span, cubit) in order to demonstrate the importance of a standard unit of measure ("If everyone used her arm to measure, we wouldn't know the exact size of anything!"). From there they introduce the two contemporary systems of measurement-customary (inch-pound) and metric-with brief explanations of how these systems were derived. Readers can then follow instructions to make a ruler that measures inches on one side and centimeters on the other. They will also learn the difference between kilometers and miles, and that a speedometer and odometer are tools for measuring distance. While Tobin's cartoonishly offbeat illustrations radiate enough pizzazz to motivate even the most resigned math haters, she fails to create a consistent scale for illustrated units of measurement. Small units, such as the digit and inch, are drawn to life, while larger units such as the palm and foot are scaled down (on the same page) without explanation, a choice which may confuse (or provoke!) those who have their home-made rulers at the ready. -- Horn Book Magazine
Children's Literature - Bonnie Bruneau
Opening with a brief historical description about Egyptian and Roman measurements, Adler then move on to today's modern means of measuring, both customary units (inches and pounds) and the metric system. Also included in this educational and engaging book are several activities which involve measuring different items using different methods. It makes math concepts and measuring more entertaining and appealing. In addition, there are lots of colorful and detailed illustrations that make learning even more fun.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A lively discussion of the history of measurement that incorporates some hands-on activities. Students may be surprised to learn that in ancient Egypt, parts of the body were used as measuring tools; a digit was the width of one finger, and a palm was the width of four fingers. Terms such as span and cubit are similarly defined. Explanations progress from Egyptian methods to the customary (or inch-pound) to the metric system. Readers are encouraged to use these various systems to measure their height and think about what units they could use for distances. The leisurely pace of the presentation picks up significantly in the last third of the book and readers might feel they are being rushed through two final activities that detail how to make a metric ruler, discuss odometers, and suggest activities to gauge distances in kilometers. The oversized white print against the bold background colors is easy to read and the full- and double-page computer-generated illustrations on every spread will engage readers.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC
Kirkus Reviews
Libraries that have been dusting off their old metric system books for years can finally replace them with a bright, new title on measurement from Adler and Tobin. In text and art, they provide an overview of three systems of measurement; half the book is dedicated to the origins of the ancient Egyptian digits, palms, spans, and cubits, as well as Roman paces. The second half turns to the customary and metric systems in use today. Inches, feet, yards, and miles are briefly explained, with comparisons to metric units, from millimeters to dekameters. Wide-eyed cartoon figures are superimposed against cinematic montages of rulers and grids in an eye-catching format; after children have fallen down laughing over Math Curse (1995), this volume offers them practical tools. (Picture book. 6-10) .

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

David A. Adler, a former math teacher, wants children to understand how much fun math can really be. He and illustrator Nancy Tobin have collaborated on two other books introducing math concepts, Fraction Fun and Shape Up. Mr. Adler is also the author of the acclaimed Picture Book Biography series for children, several Judaica titles, and numerous riddle books. He lives with his wife and sons in New York.

Nancy Tobin was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and later studied at Kendall College. She has specialized in illustration since 1987, and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two daughters, a few cockatiels, and some cats. This is her third book with David A. Adler.

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How Tall, How Short, How Faraway 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nancy Tobin is my aunt and I think she did a great job. A wonderful artist!!!!