April 7, 2011
Lots and Lots of Zebra Stripes: Patterns in Nature by Stephen R. Swinburne
by Stephen R. Swinburne
Boyds Mills Press
Take a fun turn through the natural world in this text light visually intense book full of photos by the author.
After patterns are explained to the reader, she is encouraged to find patterns in the photos. The patterns range from simple stripes (zebra) to spots (cheetah) to more complicated spirals (spider web).
Worried that the book may not click with urban dwelling children who don’t get to view African wildlife in their natural environment? Swinburne has considered that possibility and included photos of nature in city parks as well as paths and beaches being explored by groups of children. Photo spreads also encourage children to find patterns in fruits that may be in their lunches and well as dinner time vegetables and common flowers.
Given the range of images, this book will have a wide appeal and would also make a good tool to teach about patterns. Use it as a jumping off point for discussions or to launch a nature hike or review when you return from the hike.
That said, you may have to read it more than once. I kept getting caught up in Swinburne’s photos and forgetting to read the text.
Share this book with young nature lovers and future scientists as they learn to observe the world around them.