Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature

by Joyce Sidman

Other authorsBeth Krommes (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2011

Call number



HMH Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed, 40 pages


Celebrates the shape of a spiral in nature, from rushing rivers to flower buds and even the shape of an ear.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Rose_Hawblitzel
Genre: Informational

Summary: The book explores the occurance of spirals in nature, from a snail's shell to the swirling of the galaxies, and discusses the beauty and usefulness of this recurring shape in nature

Media: Scratchboard
LibraryThing member dukefan86
Beautiful illustrations of swirls in nature, and educational too! Nicely done.
LibraryThing member DenaLanders
The book talked about all the shapes and forms a swirl can make. Such as snakes and other animals wrapped up into a swirl, flowers, and even a tornado. It really teaches children to think about all same shapes they may see throughout the daybut as different objects. I thought the illustrations in
Show More
this books were beautiful because they were very big, bold, and different. They were not the typical flower or animal. It also had less color making the bold black shapes stand out.
Show Less
LibraryThing member KylieBrigham
It isn't very often that informational text includes both scientifically accurate facts AND makes reading interesting, engaging, and relevant for students, but this book does. This books shows examples of how spiral shapes occur naturally in nature with beautifully illustrated pictures, as well as
Show More
with controlled, easy to understand language. Visiting the macro (space, clouds, and waves) to the micro (spider's webs, and nautilus shells, this text introduces students to the beauty of nature and is perfect for young scientists in a science classroom who are curious about the world around them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member satyridae
Absolutely splendid. Excellent presentation, wonderful graphics. I fell head-over-heels in love with this book. The text is clear without the slightest hint of condescension, and the examples given are stellar indeed. The afterword brings up Fibonacci. One for the permanent collection, no question.
LibraryThing member mawls
Beautiful illustrations and very informative.
LibraryThing member agrudzien
Starting with animals tucked into spirals to sleep, this book illustrates the various spirals seen in nature. From a small snail's shell, ram's horns, and ferns to larger spirals seen in flowers, tornadoes and the galaxy this book shows how prevelant and important this shape is in nature.

I really
Show More
liked how the pictures moved from small spirals (those in animals) into larger spirals (the ocean and galaxy). This book would definitely cause readers search for and notice spirals in the natural world around them. The illustrations are very "line heavy", though which is why it was a three star for me. It would have been amazing with photographs or simpler pictures.
Show Less
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Author Joyce Sidman and illustrator Beth Krommes explore the spiral shape in this poetic work of picture-book natural history, producing a work that will inform younger children, while also keeping them entertained. From animals snuggling in their winter burrows to spiders weaving graceful webs,
Show More
from nautiluses building their shells outward to hedgehogs curling themselves inward, spirals abound in nature. Sometimes a temporary reaction to circumstance - the cold, a perceived threat - sometimes a cyclical motion - the pounding of the waves, the swirling of a whirlpool - and sometimes permanent - the final stage of a ram's horn - the spiral is always beautiful, something that is highlighted in Swirl By Swirl: Spirals in Nature.

With a simple text - one sentence or phrase per page - and gorgeous scratchboard art, this is a wonderful work of natural history for the preschool set, introducing young children to a pattern that they will see over and over again in the world around them. The animals, plants and forces (tidal whirlpools, tornadoes) shown in the illustrations are labelled, making the artwork as informative as the poetic text, while an afterword gives significantly more detail about each kind of spiral depicted. Having greatly enjoyed some of Joyce Sidman's other picture-books, from Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors to Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors, as well as Beth Krommes' Caldecott Medal-winning The House in the Night, I was interested to see what these two talented women would produce, when working together. I was not disappointed! Educational and engaging, as well as beautiful, this is a book I would recommend to young nature lovers, as well as to fans of Krommes style of art.
Show Less
LibraryThing member MeganLuke
This book is a poem written in free verse describing characteristics of spirals in nature. The illustrations provide examples of the various spirals that fit the different characteristics. This is a great example of illustrations supporting the text. Illustrations are done using scratchboard and
Show More
watercolors. The detail is amazing.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rnelson12
A creative look at spirals in nature.
LibraryThing member JanetB2
Beautifully written and illustrated book about swirls in nature.
LibraryThing member AMaffett
This book would be great for teaching poetry. The poetry is clear, yet descriptive, and in the end comes full circle. Would also be great to use for science. Fascinating scientific information about how spirals are so prevalent in nature. This goes for individual animals (and animal parts and
Show More
postures), individual plants, ocean waves, clouds, and entire galaxies.
Show Less
LibraryThing member AyannaMagee
This book talks about all different types of spiral shapes in nature and has fun pictures for children to discover the different spirals in!
LibraryThing member kradish
Sidman that is not too wordy. Perfect for use in math and science. Lovely imagery and illustrations; a lot of content in a tiny package.
LibraryThing member khendr4
In my opinion, the book "Swirl by Swirl," is a really great informational book for young readers. One thing I really liked about this book is that it introduces a topic that most people don't particularly think about. When you see all of the things that are included in the book in real life, you
Show More
don't really think of what they all have in common so I thought it was great how the book included a variety of different things in nature that have spirals. Some of the things the book discussed were snakes, chipmunks, octopus, waves, butterflies and spider webs. Another thing I really liked about this book was that in the back, it had the definition of a spiral and detailed explanations of each thing that was featured in the book. For example for the merino sheep, it says,"The spiral horns of a male merino sheep absorb the impact of the tremendous pounding blows they receive when fighting other males." Providing these explanations helps young readers to get a deeper understanding of why each of these things has a spiral and to provide an extension of the text which I think is very beneficial. Another thing I liked about this book was the illustrations. The book includes a lot of bold black with color that is filled in to emphasize each of the things that are being described. I also liked how there were labels provided for each thing that had a spiral so the reader knew what it was and could reference it in the back of the book. The big idea of the story was to teach readers about different things in nature that have a spiral.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kwolinski
I love the imagery in the text of Swirl by Swirl! The illustrations are amazing, just like Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. This would be a fantastic book for young children to introduce them to poetry, and also great for older children to experience the imagery throughout the book.
LibraryThing member kacieholt
The wonderful scratchboard illustrations of spirals in nature such as: snails, snakes, sheeps' horns galaxies, and even DNA helix's match the poetic text perfectly. Each illustration of the spirals in nature is labeled with its specific name; for example: spider monkey, hibiscus, classic funnel
Show More
tornado, and eastern gray squirrel.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bwinte3
In this book it shows you all things found in nature that has a swirl or spiral with in the image. I think the main idea of this book is to show you that even though things are different they may have something in come with each other.

I like this book because author labels every illustration that
Show More
they are pointing out to the reader on that particular page. For example when the illustrator has a picture of a butter fly the author has it labeled as “Giant swallowtail butterfly” underneath the picture. Another reason I like this book is at the end the author give a brief description of how the swirls are made in each thing they pointed out in the book such as “When two ocean currents meet, they push against each other and can start swirling into a whirlpool.” Overall I like this boom because the illustrations are fun and informative.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mcnicol_08
A breathe taking piece of literature that explores the unique share of the swirl that is continuously found in nature. I personally love the fact that this author completed a children's that explores this mysterious shape.

The moment I learned about the spiral shape I was fascinated by it. I was
Show More
surprised and thrilled to find a children's author to create text for children to explore the shape. I will absolutely have this book in my classroom library.

One of my favorite feature of this author's text is her scientific support. At the end of her books she always spends time providing scientific support for her work or species mentioned in the text.
Show Less
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
A Caldecott medalist and a Newbery Honor-winning poet celebrate the beauty and value of spirals.What makes the tiny snail shell so beautiful? Why does that shape occur in nature over and over again—in rushing rivers, in a flower bud, even inside your ear? With simplicity and grace, Joyce Sidman's
Show More
poetry paired with Beth Krommes's scratchboard illustrations not only reveal the many spirals in nature—from fiddleheads to elephant tusks, from crashing waves to spiraling galaxies—but also celebrate the beauty and usefulness of this fascinating shape.
Show Less
LibraryThing member KristenRoper
I love how Sidman goes beyond simply pointing out instances of spiral formations in nature and demonstrates the different qualities they have and functions they serve. Krommes' illustrations are both graphic and dynamic, encapsulating the synchronous strength and beauty of spirals. C adores this
Show More
book and has spent the last two weeks pointing out spirals wherever she seems them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member sloth852
Beautiful art and succinct text teach about the many spirals found in nature.


A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (Nonfiction — 2011)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 2014)
Monarch Award (Nominee — 2014)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Poetry — 2014)
Red Clover Book Award (Nominee — 2013)




054731583X / 9780547315836


Page: 0.5931 seconds