A science-based book designed to encourage readers to explore nature.
The opening double-page spread shows children in a pastoral setting engaged in a variety of activities: lying in the grass, playing with sand, looking off into the distance beyond what appears to be a fence, etc. These actions all pair well with the text, which encourages readers to “Explore, find more, join the show.” Each spread features a key word or words set in outsized type, though the design (specifically, the placement of words on the page) is not consistent—odd in a book about patterns. The use of perspective in this book is particularly noteworthy, including aerial views, views from below, and cross-sections, which will help keep readers engaged despite the muted colors. The subdued palette is an interesting choice for a book focused on nature, which often comes in vibrant and rich hues. The illustrations (a combination of silkscreen printing and digital media) portray a racially diverse cast of characters and highlight patterns and details as the text gives examples of spinning, whirling, and twirling in nature. Barss emphasizes that different things can be examples of the same concept (like branches in trees, rivers, bodies), neatly communicating complicated ideas to youngsters.
Though the design is inconsistent, the combination of clear illustrations and easy-to-read-aloud text will help make complex concepts understandable, especially for younger readers. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 3-7)