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Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature Hardcover – October 4, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The open-ended quality of the verse and the visual nature of the subject create plenty of opportunities for the art. The striking scratchboard illustrations use black lines, shapes, and crosshatched shading on white backgrounds to create strong compositions, while watercolor washes add subtle warmth and brilliance. . .There are, of course, many school uses for this, but just reading it aloud at home will make the everyday fascinating."—Booklist, starred review

"The observations, from a few words to a couple sentences, are tucked neatly into Krommes’s gorgeous scratchboard spreads."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Exquisitely simple and memorable."—Kirkus, starred review

"From the endpapers that gather together all the spirals depicted to the spiraling text on the title page verso, this book is elegantly constructed, and as poetry, picture book, or nonfiction, a success in every way."—The Horn Book, starred review

"This is one of those rare children’s books that make you look at the physical world differently. . .spirals are beautiful—whether we see in them hints of infinity, the promise of unfolding potential, or the embodiment of mathematical perfection."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the Author

Joyce Sidman lives in Minnesota, where she looks for shapes in nature every day. joycesidman.com
 
 
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 330L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054731583X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547315836
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Swirl by Swirl is a beautiful book celebrating the natural world. The illustrations are bold and lush and totally unique. The text is simple, with one line per page, making this a perfect choice for a picture book audience or a beginning reader. What is amazing about this book is that it so perfectly captures the vastness and variety of the natural world by examining one simple shape - the spiral. From the curled up chipmunk sleeping in it's den ("it's a snuggling shape"), to the spiral of a funnel cloud ("It twists through air with clouds on it's tail"), this book is a wonderful intro to shapes that exist in nature and is sure to encourage young readers to spot their own spirals.

Apart from all the beautiful pictures and poetic text, this book also provides the names of each species or spiral object shown. Turn to the back and you will see a short paragraph on each featured item, giving such facts as: "The Nautilus forms a sturdy home by curling around itself as it grows, adding to its shell at the outer lip", and "Galaxies, which are huge groups of millions or billions of stars, are often spiral shaped. No one knows exactly why...".

This is a beautiful intro to natural science for any preschool or lower elementary student. It's a great choice for group sharing or any child's personal collection. Use it as a starting point for discussions about the world around you and you will soon be going off on shape searches of your own.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband, Don, and I decided to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary by providing 50 books - along with an ice cream party - to 50 children (ages 2 - 4 years old) in a downtown center that provides day care services for the children of working poor. Each child received a different book with his or her name already in it. We ordered all of the books from Amazon. Some were "old faithfuls" used when our own children and/or older grandchildren were young. Other choices were unknown quantities to us until our shipments arrived. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature, fell into the "unknown quantity" group. This extraordinary book became one of the brightest stars of our "50 for 50" selections! It brilliantly and beautifully displays the marvelous spirals found in our world in impressive, educational ways that communicate with little ones and with their adult care-givers. The production values are superb. It should be - if it isn't already - also used by classroom teachers, especially in math, science and art, along with parents, grandparents and all others who love children and recognize the enormous value for children in owning their own (good) books! I plan to order another copy of "Swirls" as a gift for our youngest grandchild, now two. "Swirl by Swirl ..." is a "keeper" destined for classic status stardom in the field of children's literature. That assessment is my humble prediction, anyway.
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Format: Hardcover
From snail shells and sheep horns to tornados and galaxies, spirals occur over and over in our world. This is the unifying concept of Joyce Sidman's lovely new book, Swirl by Swirl. Each page takes us through a different aspect of nature's spirals: chipmunks and woodchucks "coiled tight, warm and safe," lady ferns "unwrapping themselves," elephant trunks "clinging tight."

The author and illustrator are both top notch. Joyce Sidman won the 2011 Newberry Honor for her book Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and Beth Krommes won the 2009 Caldecott Medal for her illustrations of The House in the Night. Together they create an artistic and poetic journey through nature, each page filled with motion and resonance.

Geared towards preschool and elementary school age children, this is a wonderful book for helping children to observe the shapes they see in nature. Each illustration has detailed labels of the objects pictured, and there's a wonderful explanatory index at the back of the book, making it a great supplemental book for teaching science.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is beautiful. It engaged my children from the first page. They started a great conversation about this shape in the world. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Swirl by Swirl truly is a perfect merger of words and pictures. The pictures show so clearly what the text describes. I appreciated the fact that the different animals are labeled. This is a book I enjoyed sharing with my students. It was short enough that I didn't get bogged down reading it, but there is enough detail that we had things to talk about. This book makes a great read-a-loud for a larger group as well as one-on-one. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought a couple of these to give to some kids we know, four children in all, all under the age of five years old. We heard back from the parents that the children loved the book and were more interested now in investigating math in the garden. Mission accomplished, I'd say! I heard about the book on a library blog and they did not steer me wrong. The illustrations are lavish and beautiful. Highly recommended for kids who like math, nature, flora and fauna.
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By L on December 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We love it now and will love it later. Baby stares and points at patterns, later the simple text will be enjoyed too. Have to keep hand ready to defend pages... WISH WISH WISH IT WAS A BOARDBOOK. Absolutely beautiful artwork.
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