Flow, Spin, Grow: Looking for Patterns in Nature

illus. by Todd Stewart. 32p. Owlkids. Oct. 2018. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771472876.
PreS-Gr 2—Nature and patterns go hand in hand, as Barss and Stewart delightfully display throughout this young nonfiction choice. Within these pages are multiple levels of story. At the most primary level, the biggest display words on the page—if read sequentially—create a simple poem that spans the entire book. (These big words are the poem that is displayed on the first spread.) At a more complex level, Barss heightens those display words by relating them to a pattern in nature through lyrical prose. At yet another level, Stewart's beautifully muted illustrations are filled with patterns. At first, readers may notice simple line formations and polygons creating the bigger picture; but when they look closer, they may notice lightly-colored lines in the background that relate to the words on the page. Although the light lines are much more noticeable on the darker spreads, a close look will reveal them on each page. The illustrations are immersive and jammed with detail, encouraging readers to scrutinize and appreciate each page. The author's note at the back of the book delves more into patterns in nature and recommends a number of additional books about the topic for readers of all ages.
VERDICT A good addition to any early nonfiction collection. An especially wonderful book to read aloud and discuss with young nature-lovers.

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