Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Have you seen any SYMMETRY lately?

Spring must be early this year, because my "spring" book Seeing Symmetry is already in the warehouse in February (yay!) The subject of symmetry had percolated in my mind for several years before I settled on a way to present it in picture book form. The trailer/book talk gives a sense of the broad scope of the topic:

Unlike most of my other books, the artwork is rendered in a realistic style. It was tough to decide what to include or leave out because there are so many wonderful examples of line and rotational symmetry in the world, from creatures great and small to kaleidoscope images to quilt blocks to King Tut. The page below shows some of the variety of art and craft work (which could have filled up the entire book):
What delights me the most about symmetry is that it perfectly embodies two subjects that are rarely paired up: Math and Art. In order to create or recognize symmetrical images, children (and the rest of us) must understand equal vs unequal, comparisons, repeats, rotations, reflections, and other basic math concepts in vivid, visual form.

Creating this book has certainly left a permanent impression on me because I "see symmetry" everywhere now, from decorated cakes to crocheted doilies to wrought iron gates to Mardi Gras masks…hopefully, the readers of this book will, too!

My web site
My symmetry activities


Anonymous said...

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Susan E. Goodman said...

Congratulations Loreen--for the book, which sounds fun, and for making your own video.

Anonymous said...

I heard you on Katie Davis. Thanks so much for introducing me to TeachersPayteachers. Your book is lovely, and I can't wait to buy it for my boys.

Sue Macy said...

Loreen: When I was working on the Scholastic math magazines, we did a poster in which we took a picture of Abraham Lincoln's face and printed it three ways. The first was as it naturally appears. The second was using the right half of his face and a mirror image of the right half, and the other was the left half of his face with a mirror image of the left half. It was pretty cool because we showed how symmetry was not totally preserved on the human face. One eye might droop while the other doesn't, etc. But I do love this topic and look forward to seeing your book!

Loreen Leedy said...

Thanks for the comments! Sue, the face-not-being-perfectly-symmetrical meme has been thoroughly tattooed on everyone's brain for sure! I made sure to deal with it in a couple of ways, the main point being that the basic structure of human faces, animal bodies, etc. is symmetrical (as opposed to having parts randomly placed willy-nilly.) Nature is not perfect, just darn good. : )

April Pulley Sayre said...

Loreen, this sounds like a terrific book. Effective book trailer, too, by the way. Thanks for sharing it.