Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar

by Anno, Mitsumasa. (Putnam, 1983 ISBN 0399209514. Hardcover. Paperback.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades 2+.
This book was reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.


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We start with a jar. Inside the jar is a sea. In the sea is an island. On each island are two countries. In each country..... and so on to the original jar standing in the cupboards. How many jars in all? 10! ...which is 10 factorial. The nice thing is that Anno then shows us using dots and math, how the jars multiplied.

As we get to the page covered with tiny red dots we are told that there are 40,320 dots on that page. To show the 3,628,800 dots to represent the final number of jars in the book, we would need 180 more pages filled with dots.

The author's explanation and further development of the concept of factorials at the end of the book emphasizes the patterns evident in this intricate book.


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