A young child explains a love of math and how it shapes the world.
Finding one’s passion is no easy feat, even (perhaps especially) when surrounded by everyone else’s. Dad loves to paint, Mom thrills at entomology, and a brother excels at music, but none of those quite fit. Neither does acting or dancing or cooking or singing or sports—all worthy activities but none of them the stuff of passion for the determined narrator. When everything has been tried, the protagonist is left with the simple truth—the one thing this child likes the most is math. Tanco unhurriedly unspools the protagonist’s passion as the text (occasionally punctuated with new vocabulary) notes how thoroughly the world is immersed in math, whether it’s in the form of geometric shapes on the playground, group problems at the dinner table, or paper-airplane trajectories. With each page turn, the lens and framework of math as a way to see the world takes shape. Without softening or hiding basic (but still complex) mathematical concepts, Tanco’s open, loose-lined illustrations offer visual dimension and definition, bridging, for instance, the unfamiliar concept of concentric circles with the everyday occurrence of water ripples. Further information can be found in a visual glossary. The narrator has light brown skin and a mass of brown, kinky curls; Mom has a similar look, and Dad presents white.
If readers aren’t math-curious at the start, they will be by the end. (Picture book. 5-8)