Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Infinity and Me

Hosford, Kate (Author)
Swiatkowska, Gabi (Illustrator)
Lerner 2012. 32 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780761367260 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language, point of view, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Uma’s new red shoes make her too excited to sleep. Gazing up at the starry sky, she thinks about infinity. Her Grandma sees infinity as generations of family, going forward in time forever, while Uma tries to imagine an eternal recess, without bounds on either side: “But if there’s no school before recess, and no school after recess, is it really recess anymore?” The child’s big questions always return to ground. After the poetic and abstract definitions of infinity, Uma remarks, “Not one person had noticed my new red shoes.”

Magical, surreal illustrations represent different conceptions of infinity as imagined by Uma’s friends, family and teachers. Columns of numbers rise from Charlie’s head, right off the page. Samantha tootles in a toy car around a track in the shape of the infinity symbol. These detailed images recall the quaint style of a bygone era.

In the end, it is Uma’s feelings for Grandma that allow the child a glimpse of what she’s been trying to understand: “. . . my love for her was as big as infinity.” That night the starry sky feels “like a sparkly blanket, covering us both.”

An author’s note gives some background, and discusses children’s authentic responses to the idea of infinity. An excellent way to start a discussion about numbers and abstract ideas.

  •  

    Before reading, talk about the concept of infinity and how you envision it.

  •  

    Create a list of things that can be described using the word infinity (lines, space, possibilities, etc.). Compare your list with others.

  •  Discuss the answers to the question in the book. Which one makes most sense to you? Come up with your own answer.
  •  

    Before reading, talk about the concept of infinity and how you envision it.

  •  Make a web of the people interviewed in the book.
  •  

    Write about and illustrate how you envision infinity. Present your ideas to your classmates in a cooperative inside/outside circle.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Mathematics