Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Picture Book (Science): Spiky, Slimy, Smooth--What is Texture? (by Jane Brocket)

Spiky,Slimy, Smooth:  What Is Texture?  is part of a series called Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts.   Of course, there is no better way to learn about texture than exposure to various surfaces, but Spiky, Slimy, Smooth is an excellent resource accompaniment for building the concept of texture. 

Brocket begins with a simple definition of texture:  “The way something feels.”   Then, she invites the reader to come along with her on a texture adventure.  I love the way she uses items common to most children—furry slippers, gooey jam, moist cake—as well as some less familiar—bumpy melons, prickly cactus, soft butterflies.  

Though touch is the primary sense, other senses are described alongside it.  For instance, she describes the “rustling sound when you scrunch” up a candy wrapper and the “fresh and crisp” taste of fruits and vegetables. 

The large photographs cover all or most of the page, making them a feast for the eyes.  The colors are vibrant and detailed which reveals beautifully the textures of the subjects. 

One of the best parts of Spiky, Slimy, Smooth is the use of language, specifically adjectives.  Brocket provides a wide assortment of describing words to help preschool children build a vocabulary for discussing texture.   For example, the tiles are “smooth and cool” while the gaps are “gritty and rough.”   Melons are knobbly, warty, curvy, and lumpy.   The jam is “sticky and gooey.”  Young listeners can predict the words that will be used for the object and brainstorm other ones not listed. 

Another aspect of the language is she often uses the same adjective on dissimilar pictures that are side by side to illustrate that the word can be applied to very different objects.   Cactus plants can be labeled sharp but so can pebbles and stones.  This contrast is an excellent opportunity to talk about different types of sharp as well as other objects that are pointed. 

I enjoyed this book so much that I plan to review her other books in her Clever Concepts series.  I highly recommend Spiky, Slimy, Smooth: What Is Texture?  It is ideal for early childhood teachers and parents of preschool children (ages 2-5).  

This post is linked up with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) Friday and Sunday Showcase at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great book! I love that teachers or parents could use the book along with props to help kids understand texture.



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