Snowman – Cold = Puddle by Laura Purdie Salas

By Megan Northcote

What do you get when you combine science + poetry? Snowman - Cold = Puddle, a wonderfully imaginative book of equations that offers a new way for students to think about the world transitioning from winter to spring. Beginning with early spring, each page highlights a simple equation accompanied by a short, slightly more scientific explanation of nature’s change. For instance, “warmth + light = alarm clock,” the author explains, refers to animals being awakened from hibernation as warming temperatures and increasing sunlight rouse them from sleep. Other equations are slightly more abstract and poetic, such as “1 dandelion x 1 breath = 100 parachutes,” referring to what happens if a child blows on a dandelion, spreading its seeds. Each poetic equation is beautifully illustrated with a paint and tissue paper collage of nature’s splendor. 

A perfect choice for a read-aloud discussion about the signs of spring, the book’s ending “you + the world =?” encourages young readers to go out and explore nature’s transformations themselves to create their own poetic equations. A list for further reading about spring topics covered in the book—such as weather, pollination, and birds—is included in the back. 

Here are a few more titles that might help your students spring into science: 

On A Snow-melting Day by Buffy Silverman

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak 

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines