Monday, October 1, 2012

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Uma has a brand-new pair of very nice red shoes and a very big question: what is infinity? She knows that it's big, but how big is it? It makes her feel small to even think about it. Her friend calls it a number that keeps growing forever. Another friend says that the infinity symbol is like an eight that never ends. Different people tell her different things, but nothing helps her to feel like she understands infinity... and no one is noticing her new shoes. This is turning into a very confusing day!

This picture book so smartly captures that moment when a child first starts thinking about a big question. When did I first learn about infinity? I know that I can't remember. There was the common retort of "blah blah blah times infinity" followed by "blah blah blah times infinity plus one," which someone always points out is the same as infinity. That's still pretty mind-bending: how can infinity and infinity + one be the same thing?! Uma's quest for truth and the answers that she gets from the people around her all ring pretty true, and nestled underneath this mathematic exploration is the warm relationship between a girl and her grandmother. A quick search of my library catalog shows a definite lack of books that deal with the concept of infinity, so any book on the topic would be a welcome addition. This book, though, with its truly accessible story and lovely and unusual illustrations can easily stand on its own merits; even without a collection development need, this is a book that children's libraries should be looking at.

Check out Kate Hosford's website.  Also check out Gabi Swiatkowska's website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Carolrhoda Books/Lerner.

Find it at Amazon.

Read it with:
Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford
Zero by Kathryn Otoshi
The Cat in Numberland by I. Ekeland
Summertime Waltz by Nina Payne

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