Snowman - Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations

illus. by Micha Archer. 32p. further reading. Charlesbridge. Feb. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781580897983.
Gr 2–4—This is a cleverly crafted book that combines playful equations, such as "bark + beak = drum," with an accompanying illustration (a woodpecker on a tree) and related scientific facts: "It drums faster in spring to claim its territory or attract a mate." Sometimes the equations include multiple mathematical functions, such as, "maple trees x buckets + boiling = sticky smile," but in most cases, the sum is a lovely, thought-provoking metaphor, as in "breeze + kite = ballet." The book is organized into early, mid- and late spring events that occur as the earth transitions from winter to summer and additional facts and informational resources about spring can be found at the end. The art is done in colorful, intricate collage and oil paints and the artist's and author's statements are worth reading for learning about their thinking as they created the book. The book could serve as an anchor and mentor text for the study of seasons, as children of various ages will enjoy coming up with their own equations for any of the four seasons and creating accompanying informational text in a similar format.
VERDICT An excellent choice for educators who are looking for a way to add an interesting, playful, aesthetic approach to students' thinking and understanding of the seasons.

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