This may be one of the most beautiful books in my library. Swirl by swirl is full of illustrations by Beth Krommes (winner of the Caldecott Medal for The House in the Night) that look as if they have been etched. The colors are vibrant and really “pop” against the black background. I use this book with my older grades to show them the incredible art work and talk about seeing shapes in nature. I use the book in my younger grades to show the students all the ways that swirls exist in nature. Either the way, the book is always a hit and would make a great gift for any young child at all interested in nature. The words are simple, but the concept has lots of room for discussion.
“A spiral is a snuggling shape. It fits neatly in small spaces. Coiled tight, warm and safe it waits.” The pictures show a woodchuck, an eastern chipmunk and a bull snake curled up in their burrows underground. “A spiral is a growing shape. It starts small and gets bigger, swirl by swirl.” This page includes a swimming nautilus and a cross section of a nautilus shell. As the book progresses, we see ferns, snails, hedgehogs, millipedes, the horns of rams, octopi, seahorses, elephants’ trunks, spider webs, ocean waves, flowers, the Milky Way. There are endless things to talk about.
This is an incredible book worthy of any school library or any bookshelf at home. It’s a favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it!