February 02


Snowman-Cold=Puddle: Spring Equations by Laura Purdie Salas – Review by Shilpa Mehta

In this thoughtfully written non-fiction book, Salas takes young readers on a mathematical journey of the world around them, an equation leading the way, followed by an explanatory text. From the nocturnal symphony of frogs to the tap of the woodpecker and the ballet of the kites, Salas adds a fresh dimension to all she sees around her gently coaxing her readers to put on a new lens to look at the changes as spring rolls in. The book opens with the title equation Snowman-Cold= Puddle telling us that water is a shape-shifter, reminiscent of the author’s “Water Can Be”, which would make a wonderful companion for this discussion. In fact, every equation has an amazing and a thoughtful lesson tucked into it, and is a springboard for further inquiry, dialog and discussion. The vignettes that follow the equations are brief yet enough to stimulate further exploration. The illustrations by Micha Archer complement the writing lending a melodic quality to the mathematical perspective.

For educators teaching to write non-fiction, this book presents an unconventional way to compose non-fiction that blends observation, curiosity, and exploration in a quilt of mathematics and poetry. Engaging, refreshing and buoyant – a must-read for young children and a treat for parents and educators to initiate fascinating conversations with young minds!

Shilpa Mehta is a scientist and an educator who firmly believes that books can help children find wings to their imagination, fuel their desire to explore, and encourage their sense of wonder.