But the best deliveries have to be the new book days, don’t they? (Well at least for mummy anyway, Willow might opt for when her new LOL watch arrived but let’s not test the theory…)
And when such a beautiful gem as Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes is left stood up on your doorstep, it’s a particularly special day.
The Newbery Honor (the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children) and Caldecott Medal (most distinguished American picture book for children) winning team combine to provide a deceptively simple but beautifully rich tale, just like the shape itself.
It starts of small and cosy – “A spiral is a snuggling shape. It fits neatly in small places. Coiled tight, warm and safe, it waits…” – and uncoils and expands with examples growing in size, both flora and fauna, above ground and under the sea.
From the harvest mouse to merino sheep to the spiny sea horse, the sweet pea to the rose to the sunflower and through to whirlpools, tornadoes and galaxies – “spinning and sparkling, forever expanding” – spirals are shown to be safe and strong, defensive and explorative.
But it’s final pages bring you back to wanting to curl “up neat and small, warm and safe” alongside the eastern gray squirrel and harvest mouse “warm and safe”.
Two additional pages add definition and further details beyond the poem – “Spiral: a shape that curls around a center point” – also briefly mentioning the DNA helix and Fibonacci spiral.