Sat 30 Jun 2012
Once, at some corporate training sessions I had to endure, everyone had to pick a favorite shape.
Then, the presenter proceeded to analyze people based on which shape they chose. People who chose circles were dependable, people who chose squares were organized.
When the presenter got to the spiral, she said, “You really don’t want to have ANYTHING to do with these people. They’re a little crazy.”
That was reassuring.
But I feel better knowing that if I’m crazy, so are a lot of beautiful things in nature. Many of them are described in Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011) written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes.
The book has been well received. It has won too many honors to list here, but highlights include starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, The School Library Journal and Horn Book Magazine. It also was a highly commended title by the CCBC.
But let’s see what an actual reader thinks. Take it away, Angela!
Today’s reviewer: Angela
Things I like to do: Swim, color in coloring books, play outside with my daddy and my friends, plant flowers, jump rope, watch movies and ride my scooter.
This book was about: Different things in nature that have spirals either on their bodies or when they curl their bodies to make spirals.
The best part was when: I found all the different animals in the artwork on the pages.
I smiled when: The two Asian elephants were lined up, and the front elephant picked up a branch in its trunk to make a spiral. Then the second elephant made a spiral out of its trunk to hold the front elephant’s tail.
I was surprised when: The European hedgehog curled up to protect itself from a red fox.
This book taught me: There are spirals all over in nature that I never noticed before. I learned a lot from this book. Did you know the rose is a spiral and so is a chrysanthemum?
Three words that best describe this book are: “Colorful.” “Interesting.” “Educational.”
My favorite line or phrase in this book is: “A spiral reaches out, too, exploring the world. It winds around and around.”
My favorite picture in this book is: The two pages that have a lot of flowers on them.
Other kids reading this book should watch for: All the fine detail in each of the paintings. All different things from nature are hidden in the artwork on all the pages.
You should read this book because: You will enjoy the cool artwork and wonderful words. You will learn all about spirals and how they are hidden in nature.
Thanks, Angela! Very nicely done.
And you really ought to know that Joyce’s book Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, which was illustrated by Rick Allen, received a 2011 Newbery Honor award.
And, you really ought to know that Beth won the 2009 Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated children’s book for The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson.