Four kinds of shapes that appear in nature are introduced to the developing child. The simple narrative is from a child's perspective. The child sees the star shape in an orange, a starfish, a snowflake and a daisy. She finds the branch shape in deer antlers, as well as her arms and hands. She sees lots of little shapes in turtle shells, a bee's honeycomb and a pinecone. She finds spirals in a seahorse, a ram's horns, a pig's tail, and shells until she's as a dizzy as the spiraling earth in a sky of stars. Well-chosen fine photographs show these natural objects with the shapes clearly recognizable. The back of the book provides a more advanced discussion of the many places in nature to look for these same four shapes. This is a very pleasing approach to the early discovery of natural geometric patterns that can inspire young children to look further into the subject. 2002, The Millbrook Press, $22.90. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Carol Raker Collins AGES: 4 5 6 7 8
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Through one-sentence descriptions and full-color, uncluttered photographs, readers are taken on a journey of discovery in the natural world. Rau begins with a star in the sky and then moves to objects that children might be able to examine more closely to find that shape, including an orange, a starfish, a snowflake, and a daisy. The author's other examples from nature are sometimes patterns: "branching" as seen in deer antlers and a child's extended arms and hands, and others as found (but not named) in a bee's honeycomb, a turtle shell, and pinecones. The spiral is also considered and leads into the final page where the text comes full circle: "I'm spinning, just like the Earth through the sky of stars." An illustrated spread at the end of the book provides additional notes. While this slight book may be an eye-opener for some children, others may find it too abstract (e.g., locating a star in an orange or daisy) and those expecting a book of shapes might question where deer antlers fit in. This book would probably be best explored by parents and children together.-Jessica Snow, Boston Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.