Poetry + Math + Science = A new way of looking at spring
Spring is a time of transformation and surprise. All you need to do is open your eyes and look at things in a fresh way. In this exploration of spring, math meets metaphor in tiny, clever equations. Each small poem will prompt you to look at the ordinary and see the miraculous. Can you look at an egg in a nest and see a jewelry box? How are sunlight and heat like an alarm clock? Solve the equations and read the lively sidebars that reveal the science behind the signs of spring.
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Micha Archer
Publisher: Charlesbridge (2/5/19
Signed Copies Available!
Snowman-Cold=Puddle Activity Sheets
Download FREE Snowman-Cold=Puddle Activity Guide!
What’s Your Equation? writing activity
Tunes and Tales Interview
When I took part in the Denver Children’s Festival of Stories, Kristen Olsen interviewed me about Snowman-Cold=Puddle for her Tunes and Tales radio show. Here’s the audio of that interview, where we chat and I read the first half of the book. Enjoy!
Share Your Own Equation!
Poetry Round Up at TLA 2019
Hear Laura share several equation poems during the Poetry Round Up!
Awards & Recognition
- Junior Library Guild selection
- 2020 Bank Street Best Books
- New York Public Library’s list of Best Books for Kids
- NCTE Poetry Notable
Timeline for Writing and Publishing This Book
Reviews & More
Review: The Horn Book: “To–ahem—sum things up, this picture-book blend of math, science, and poetry welcomes—and explains—the hallmarks of spring with effortless ebullience.”
Review: Publishers Weekly: “Nature, the book suggests, offers abundant surprises to those who take the time to notice.”
Review: Kirkus: “Each page is a pleasing mix of colorful tissue-paper collage art, equation poems, and a bit of lively exposition discussing the science behind the equations…One particularly beautiful page offers “1 dandelion x 1 breath = 100 parachutes.” It appears opposite the “dusk + skunks = parade” equation, but happily, skunks are nocturnal, as the text informs readers…beautifully original art complements the fun of the playful poetry. Poetry + art = beauty. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, further reading)”
Lit Links: Writing Poetry Equations in Science Class: How to use equation poems on any topic in your classroom!
Review: Shelf Awareness: “This delightful picture book proves that art + science = an incredible amount of fun.”
Review: BookPage: “These innovative poem-equations bring a new awareness and a refreshing way to look at nature.”
Read the afterword to the book.
Guest Post: Celebrate Science: Nonfiction Authors Dig Deep
Peek at the art: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: “I love this playful book, and it makes me want to snap my fingers and be in a school library again so that I can share it with both students and teachers.”
Review: Booklist: “Celebrating the natural world as winter turns to spring, this unusual volume offers a poetic equation on each page, accompanied by a vivid illustration and several short sentences of related text…A handsome, original book for reading aloud each spring.”
Review: Publishers Weekly: “Elsewhere, “bark + beak = drum.” The beak belongs to a woodpecker tapping against a tree “to claim its territory/ or attract a mate.” Archer’s torn paper collage and oil art offers sharp contrast in visual textures and colors…Nature, the book suggests, offers abundant surprises to those who take the time to notice.”
Podcast: Charlesbridge Unplugged: Talking about the writing process, how I finally ended up with spring, and more with Mel Schuit of Charlesbridge.
Review: Kimberly Hutmacher Writes: “In this picture book, Laura offers a unique take on the spring season with equation poems. Here are just a few of my favorites.
riverbank + otters = playground
Laura accompanies each equation poem with a brief fun explanation:
Some animals play all year long. In spring, otters slip and slide in the dirty, slushy snow. No mittens. No hats. Just messy, muddy, mucky fun.”
Review: Lady in Red Writes: “As with her other books, Laura Purdie Salas easily shows the reader that there are so many different ways to look at the world around us – from the dandelion to those brilliant fireworks that light up the sky:)
Review and teaching ideas: Archimedes’ Notebook: “Make a map of spring emerging. For a different way to experience the season, try mapping the changes. Here’s one way – or come up with your own way to map the seasonal changes.”
Review: Waking Brain Cells: “The poetry is entirely in equation form like the title, swiftly capturing the essence of something rather like a haiku but in an even briefer format…Salas plays with the poetic form here, creating a mathematical poetry style that is entirely joyous to read.”
Review: Margie Myers-Culver at Librarian’s Quest shares two equation poems and sidebars from the book and says, “For the final equation and poetic response, readers are challenged to pay attention, look for changes and be changed.”
Review: Annette Bay Pimental: “Some of the equations use addition and some–the ones that suggest actions that happen repeatedly or to a mass of things–use multiplication. So the books has “breeze+kite=ballet” and “bumblebees x flowers=blueberries.””