Infinity and Me – Perfect Picture Book Friday

infinTitle: Infinity and Me

Written by Kate Hosford

Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Published by Carolrhoda Books, 2012

Cybils finalist, 2012

Ages: 5-8

Themes: grandmothers, infinity, schools, math

Opening lines:

The night I got my new red shoes, I couldn’t wait to wear them to school. I was too excited to sleep so I went outside and sat on the lawn. When I looked up I shivered. the sky seemed so huge and cold. 

Synopsis:

As Uma,excited by her new red shoes, sits and looks up and marvels at the stars, she wonders how many there might be. A million? A billion? Or could it even be as many as infinity. As little kids do, she carries this question with her to school next day and asks others’ opinions, and then what her family thought. Comparisons are offered in keeping with the giver —figures of eight, family trees, the dissecting of noodles etc Parallel to these immense abstract musings, is the earthy pride that Uma has in her new red shoes and her concern that no-one seems to notice. Uma’s grasp of infinity is finally not sealed by other’s explanations but by a pair of shoes and a grandmother’s love.

Why I like this book:

I love the endpapers with all their numbers! The illustrations are truly magnificent, surreal and somehow dated, yet timeless, befitting a text battling with a topic that transcends. This story is so very typical of the curiosity of childhood, and how a child can switch from the profound to the tangible and earthy in a blink.  This is a captivating story that effectively tackles both a complex and a simple topic at the same time. I also appreciate the balance of ending the book as Uma began, gazing up at the night sky, though this time not alone, but with her grandmother. I am also a bit of a sucker for stories evoking special bonds between grandparents and grandchildren. I truly think this book has strong adult appeal too.

Activities/Resources:

A fascinating endnote lets children experience the voices of real children explaining infinity and challenges readers to define it for themselves.

Kate Hosford actually has a curriculum guide for INFINITY AND ME on her website and do check out what Kate has to say about creating this book, here.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

 
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32 Responses to Infinity and Me – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I love books that try to address abstract concepts, so this one is for me! Writing on the list now…

  2. Cathy Mealey says:

    This is definitely a book that stays with you long after you read it.

    Kate just spoke at the Carle Museum two weeks ago. Wish I had been in western Mass over that weekend!

  3. This book sounds wonderful! I, too, am a sucker for grandparent/grandchild books, and this one seems unique and delightful.

  4. It’s nice to introduce kids to abstract concept at an early age. It encourages many questions. Sounds like a very fascinating book and one that will stay with you. Love the red shoes — very grounding.

  5. I want to read it just to see how a pair of shoes is tied to the concept of infinity! Sounds clever. 🙂

  6. I look forward to see how they have brought the story back around to the stars. Nice pick!

  7. Darshana says:

    Glad you did a review of this book!

  8. Hannah Holt says:

    I love that she ties something finite to the infinite. A child can appreciate this story on whatever level she is ready for. I agree, the illustrations look perfect for this kind of subject. Wonderful review! Your language here sound as beautiful as the text of the picture book. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This looks terrific, Joanna! I love the art. And I too am a push-over for stories about grandparents/grandchildren. Also, by putting finite and infinite together, it may both help explain the concept and appeal to kids on any level of understanding. I’m very interested in the children’s explanations of infinity at the end… I’d like to see what they think!

  10. Joanna – this looks like a wonderful read – it’s on my library list.

  11. Lori Mozdzierz says:

    From the abstract concept to Uma’s red shoes to the grandchild/grandparent bond to full-circle style shouts to me, “Must Read!”

  12. What a great choice! I love the cover!

  13. A lovely review, Joanna. The book sounds very intriguing. I would love to know how the red shoes fit in, I already love the entwined generation theme.

  14. Kate Hosford says:

    Thanks you everyone for your kind words. It means so much to Gabi and me to have the support of the children’s book community. I am always amazed to hear how children describe this concept. If you are interested in reading more quotations from children about infinity, you can find them on my website here: http://khosford.com/2013/04/infinity-quotations-from-children/

    I am constantly adding to this part of the site, so if a child in your life happens to say something interesting about infinity, feel free to write me with the quotation. I also have an infinity curriculum guide, which Johanna mentioned. Here is the link: http://khosford.com/curriculum/

  15. I remember having thoughts and conversations about infinity when I was a kid, just the wonder of it, anyway. This book sounds super cool–love the cover too!

  16. Joanna says:

    Coleen, it was starry skies that set me off thinking about infinity as a kid.

  17. Pingback: Gabi Swiatkowska – Illustrator Interview | Miss Marple's Musings

  18. Pingback: Feeding The Flying Fanellis and Other Poems from a Circus Chef – PPBF | Miss Marple's Musings

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