What do you do when a child begins to ask big questions about Life, the Universe, and Everything? Especially when that child is too young to get the humor behind the answer, “42”?
One of the fascinations the younglings in my life often have is about the concept of infinity. Is ‘infinity’ a number? How can you visualize or imagine what it means to go on, and on, and on, and on? Believe it or not, this is a very common early pondering for many little ones with scientific or mathematical leanings.
Infinity and Me
by Kate Hosford, Gabi Swiatkowska (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 2012 by Lerner Publishing Group (first published June 1st 2012)
ISBN 0761367268 (ISBN13: 9780761367260)
(received as part of the Junior Library Guild's monthly shipment at my school)
Infinity and Me is an excellent picture book to read with those youngsters, allowing them to explore the concept with a little girl named Uma. She begins her journey by staring up at the stars and feeling small. Maybe the number of stars is as big as infinity! The next day, she asks everyone she meets how they picture the idea. She asks the kids in her classroom, her grandmother, the cook in the lunchroom, and her music teacher. Each one had a different way to help Uma picture the idea of infinity - forever.
The illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska are distinctive -so different from many of the picture books I've read recently. They have a dark, edgy quality that I think will appeal to the target audience of this tale. Uma's huge dark eyes and the very old fashioned feel to the book lend the story a timeless quality.
Is it nonfiction? Is it a story? I think it's a little bit of each. Whatever you call it, I know I can't wait to share this book with the primary students I work with - so many of whom are fascinated by mathematical and philosophical ponderings like this.
Head over to Kid Lit Frenzy for more great nonfiction book reviews every Wednesday!