Wednesday, November 28, 2012

INFINITY AND ME by Kate Hosford

Hosford, Kate. Infinity and Me. Illus. Gabi Swiatkowska. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 2012. ISBN 0-7613-6726-0. $16.95.

I like books that show children as intelligent speculators about the nature of existence and our place in it. For children certainly think deep thoughts, especially when, like this narrator, they look up at the stars and feel very small. It’s a significant moment when our egos open to the fact that it’s not all about us after all, and the concept of infinity surely puts us all in our places.

From the moment one opens the first page, this book is special. The little girl telling her story begins with her new red shoes. Too excited about them to sleep, she goes outside to sit on the lawn and is confronted with the “huge and cold” night sky and its seeming ”infinity” of stars. She spends the next few days sounding out friends and family about their conception of infinity. The answers she receives give readers much to think about, and they also give illustrator Swiatkowska full range for her extraordinary artistic range. Her illustrations are a really brilliant variety of techniques and textures, juxtapositions, swirls, and frames. And there’s an affectionate substory about the narrator’s Grandmother complimenting her at the story’s end on her lovely red shoes.

Alida Allison

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