Swirl by Swirl
by Joyce Sidman

Price at time of review: $16.99
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Boston, MA
ISBN: 9780547315836

Grade Level: K-2

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Book is a great example of integration of art and science. The double–page illustrations are both beautiful and accurate, filled with small details often emerging on the second and third visit to special places in the natural world—like tidal pools, fern gullies, and the lairs of orb weaving spiders.

The large text on each spread is very simple and poetic. Spirals found in surprising places grow and move. The end pages have complex collages of the shapes featured inside the book that students can seek out and identify.

This book isn't a trove of science content in and of itself but an enticing invitation to find more. Primary students might read it and then search for spirals in their own environment. Older students may research the reason that this shape is so ubiquitous in nature, and expand to investigate Fibonacci numbers. It's also an obvious bridge across disciplines; share it with math and art for synergy.

Review posted on 1/12/2012

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