Seeing Symmetry
by Leedy, Loreen; Leedy, Loreen (ILT)

An introduction to the concept of symmetry as found in nature and everyday objects includes step-by-step instructions for creating simple symmetrical designs.

Loreen Leedy has written and illustrated more than thirty books for children. Her innovative books include Seeing Symmetry, which The Horn Book called "excellent," and The Great Graph Contest, which School Library Journal called "exciting and energetic" in a starred review. She lives in Florida.

This large-format book explores symmetry, a topic particularly well suited to visual expression. While the verbal explanations are certainly helpful, the digital illustrations are fundamental to understanding the concepts. After introducing a group of apparently dissimilar objects and asking what they have in common, Leedy demonstrates line symmetry, in which one half of a picture, shape, or word is a mirror image of the other. Next up is rotational symmetry, in which an image rotates around a point. Additional pages illustrate examples from nature, art, and even holiday decorations while asking children to spot the symmetry. The extensive back matter includes a glossary, craft activities, and notes more fully explaining certain concepts. An appended note states that the book "meets the Common Core State Standards for fourth-grade mathematics in geometry." Parents and teachers will want to know that, but kids will be drawn to this colorful book for the challenge and the fun of it all. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

An entertaining assortment of dozens of diverse and colorful examples from quilts to kites to cupcakes invites the reader to discover both line and rotational symmetry. The cleverly designed cover and title page provide an example of "flip" or mirror symmetry right off the mark. The book moves on to a clear and simple explanation of the line of symmetry-an image of a folded-paper sea turtle is followed by an image of a real sea turtle-and provides many examples, including individual letters and even words that exhibit symmetry. Leedy moves on to a discussion of rotational symmetry, with various spinning designs. Throughout, the approach is clear, direct, simple and encouraging. One double-page spread of holiday symbols and decorations seems unnecessarily narrow and a bit commercialized, but overall, the layout, diagrams, font sizes and use of color set this overall above a mere textbook treatment. The backmatter reinforces the lesson with the following: two pages of notes provide extensive discussions of the specific forms of symmetry in the main text, and there are two activities (folded shape cutting and a folded paint-blot design), a brief glossary ("Symmetry Words") repeating the vocabulary and concepts introduced in the text and a one-page discussion of the importance of symmetry in math. Useful and accessible. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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