cover image Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes… Naturally

Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes… Naturally

Betsy Franco, , illus. by Steve Jenkins. . S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-0386-4

The pair behind Birdsongs tackles another science topic—geometry in the animal world. Whether addressing hexagonal beehive cells or a snail's spiral shell, brisk rhymes draw attention to nature's math, as in this description of moth wings' symmetry: “Notice the colors/ and stunning 'eyes,'/ perfectly matched/ on either side.” The layout of text frequently echoes the subject under discussion, e.g., words circle around the sphere of an inflated puffer fish or grow larger and bolder when pointing out, among peacock pairs, “the male's the one with all the flair.” Jenkins's cut-paper collages are every bit as stunning here as in his previous books. Striking color combinations make the illustrations pop. This inviting book is bound to spark more careful observation of the shapes and colors in the reader's natural world. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)