How Many: Spectacular Paper Sculptures
by Ron van der Meer
Robin Corey Books
If you could cross geometry-crazed Joost Elffers with 3-D illustrator Robert Sabuda, this is what you'd get: slender tendrils of paper that spiral almost to infinity in a book that's endlessly fun and mind-boggling. Plus, kids will be too busy to realize it's good for them.
Although van der Meer created only five spreads, each is designed to keep a kid counting stars or rectangles or zig-zagging lines or different combinations of shapes and colors. It's exhausting, really. But that's good, right?
I'm a little afraid to leave this lying around. A promotional brochure with the dazzling display to your right lasted exactly half a nanosecond after my two-year-old got to it. It took many tears and some scotch tape to calm everyone down, myself included.
But placing the book out of reach means it isn't handy for my son, who's endlessly fascinated by the delicate sculptures and the dozens of counting questions. Here's just a few:
How many stars have 4 points? ... How many star points touch the pages? How many stars are hollow?
I usually scoff at parents convinced that this workbook or that primer will get their tot into Harvard. With this one, I'm not so cynical ... but is age 5 a little early to start filling out the application?