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Infinity and Me (Carolrhoda Picture Books) Hardcover – August 1, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 5-This unusual, philosophical picture book makes this seemingly difficult concept approachable and interesting. Young Uma ponders the concept of infinity with the help of friends and family. She finds that the idea can be mind-boggling, but seems less scary when considered in loving company. The story effortlessly combines the enormity of the universe with the frankly personal, as represented by Uma's pride in her new red shoes. Characters define infinity with charming and age-appropriate examples, from a family tree that goes on forever to a never-ending ice-cream cone. A fascinating endnote lets youngsters hear the voices of real children explaining infinity and challenges readers to define it for themselves. Swiatkowska's whimsical, surreal, old-fashioned paintings are well suited to the subject matter. Her art also graces Ilene Cooper's The Golden Rule (Abrams, 2007), another thoughtful picture book, which would combine well with this one. This quiet jewel is sure to spark contemplation and conversation among readers.-Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FLα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Considering that adults have trouble grappling with the concept of infinity, you have to admire Hosford for trying to wrap young brains around it. There is only the scantest sense of character, place, and story here, but we do meet a young girl named Uma, who stares up at the stars. “I started to feel very, very small.” She asks a number of people how they imagine infinity, and each has his or her own creative take. Her friend Sam envisions infinity as a figure 8 racetrack. Grandma sees it as an ever-enlarging family tree. This compels Uma to tackle a few old philosophical saws, including the one about cutting something in half and then cutting that half in half, ad infinitum. Swiatkowska was the right choice of illustrator for the spiraling subject matter. Her big-eyed Victorian-looking characters embark upon various flights of fancy: driving along an infinity sign, becoming a Vitruvian Man, and standing beneath an ice-cream cone that would take forever to lick. Oddball for sure, but good fun to puzzle over. Grades K-3. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Carolrhoda Picture Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: 21st Century (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761367268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761367260
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a stunning, compelling book that kids and adults will enjoy alike. It's beautifully written and conceived. The author takes a mind boggling mathematical concept and transmutes it into something poetic and touching, through a story about a little girl who is thrilled with the tiny - her new red shoes - and baffled by the vast; the sky at night. It's all about her coming to terms with the finitude of being a person in the universe, through love.

I think this is the kind of story that children will return to and reread, as they grow older and find more and more in the profound ideas that the book deploys with such elegance and beauty.
The illustrations are simply gorgeous. As is the conclusion of the story, in which Uma snuggles up next to her grandma in contemplation of the night sky. How perfect an ending is that? Beautiful.
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Format: Hardcover
This gorgeous book had so much potential, but was kind of odd. The illustrations are spectacular and my 4.5 year old son definately now understands infinity (as least as much as any of us really do). The explanations approached this tricky concept from a variety of viewpoints making it possible to understand infinity on many levels. That part was well done. The author tries to bind the book together using an awkward story about how the little girl's grandma doesn't notice her new shoes, but does in the end because her love for her is infinite. Aside from being mildly offended that this math loving girl is obsessed with shoes the whole book and that her grandma's love is somehow conveyed through noticing her shoes (weird, right?), the book could have stood and been even better off without it. Grandma could simply have just said, "my love for you is infinite". I'm happy we read it and enjoyed it, but thanks to the awkward plot device, it's not a favorite.
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Format: Hardcover
The wonder of how many stars are in the sky. The cyclical figure eight shape of a racetrack. How about the boundless love of a Grandma? Author Kate Hosford uses these concrete images and more to explain the abstract concept of infinity in her new picture book.

The young protagonist, Uma, is on a mission to find out what "infinity" means so she asks the different people in her life. From her music teacher to her best friend, each small anecdote adds up to a definition that elementary school aged kids will appreciate and understand.

The illustrations are as beautiful as the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Eight year old Ema looks at the sky, at all the stars, and wonders about infinity. She asks the people around her how they view infinity, and gets many answers. Taken together, they start to give her an idea of what infinity means.

This book is drawn in an old-fashioned, but very charming, way. Ema is simple in her awe of infinity, but not silly. She acts like a little girl.

An age range of 5-10 is given for this book, but I think 6-8 might be about right. A 10 year old interested in a book at this reading level probably won't be much into contemplating infinity. Many 5 year old kids won't be ready for the level of abstraction (although some will).

Just a terrific book!

The publisher provided me a copy for review.
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Format: Hardcover
I was excited to see this book, since I have the bare beginnings of an infinity-related picture book manuscript in a drawer. I can't get anywhere with it! So I was eager to see how Hosford worked with it.

This is a lovely picture book in which a little girl, Uma, looks for a definition of infinity. It's a combination of metaphors (like music that goes in a circle) and momentous questions ("But if there's no school before recess, and no school after recess, is it really recess anymore?"). It's a combination of the vast and the specific (why hasn't anyone noticed Uma's shiny new red shoes?). Like kids, this book asks both profound and silly questions, and I think this will really strike a chord with readers.

An author's note at the end gives kids more background and encourages them to come up with new ways to imagine infinity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A complex theory and math in a kids story. Wonderful! The art is beautiful, the dialogue engaging, the concept worthy. This was a gift for a niece but I read it several enjoyable times before reluctantly packing it up and sending it on.
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Format: Hardcover
Wonderful picture book about a complex subject. Lovely illustrations. Thoughtful conversations about what does infinity mean. Highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 7-year-old daughter loves this book, and I do too! It tells the story of a young girl grappling with the concept of infinity who seeks out explanations from different people in her life, ranging from her school cook to her grandma. The illustrations are beautiful, and they give the story a timeless feel. I also love the inquisitiveness of the main character and the resolution, which links the vastness of infinity to the love of a family.
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