Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Infinity and Me, written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska. Carolrhoda Books, 2012. $19.95 ages 5 and up
The meaning of infinity is almost impossible to imagine. In this lovely book, Kate Hosford evokes a spirited consideration of this mathematical construct.
Uma looks to the night sky and wonders how many stars might be winking down at her. It causes her to consider infinity. Her questions for others begin and so, too, the answers. As varied as the people asked, the answers overwhelm young Uma. With all her thinking about it, she has forgotten about her stunning new red shoes. Nobody has even noticed them.
After checking with her friends and some important people at school, Uma is no closer to an answer that she was when she started. Thoughtful and meditative she leaves school behind and makes her way home where her grandmother greets her with great pleasure and a heartwarming observation:
"Uma, I meant to tell you this morning - those are the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen!"
Her grandmother has helped Uma begin to understand infinity in her own terms:
"I didn't hear the rest of what Grandma said. I was too busy smiling. Right then I knew - my love for her was as big as infinity."
Gazing at the night sky with Grandma beside her makes it less intimidating to her eyes and to her heart; now, Uma can see it as a 'sparkly blanket' all warm and snuggly.
Gabi Swiatkowska’s beautifully expressive illustrations give life to each character and offer readers an invitation to stop and pay rapt attention to every spread. They glow with life and wonder.