Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes

The contents of Swirl by Swirl are pretty self-evident from its full title: basically, it provides a comprehensive summary of where — and sometimes even why — spirals, in all its forms, occur in nature. Instead of simply doing a dry scientific study, however, the authors have created a stunning book that would be more accurately described as poetic and artistic.

Here, simple but beautifully crafted prose intertwine with sumptuous illustrations — and literally so, since the pictures and text are married so well in every spread that they really are two halves of the whole — to bring out the beauty and grace of the ubiquitous, yet not often discussed, spiral shape.


While aesthetics have their place in the world, this book not only highlights the beauty of spirals in relation to their disparate forms but also their practical functions in nature, which range from various animals coiling up for warmth and/or protection, to a seahorse attaching itself to seaweed to avoid being carried away by ocean currents.


That said, this is probably not the first book that you will turn to if you need detailed scientific information about spirals — although, there is a two-page section at the end that provides concise but useful information about the various examples featured. However, it will open your eyes to the beauty of this mysteriously enchanting shape that hides in plain sight all around us.

The writing is deliberately kept simple so that it is accessible to toddlers, while the boldly lavish artwork on every page begs to be lingered over and enjoyed at leisure by anyone of any age. In fact, this is one book that both children and their parents will be happy to read over and over again.

One thought on “Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes

  1. Pingback: Blue on Blue by Dianne White and Beth Krommes | Picture This Book

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