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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Science & Ecosystems

Flow, Spin, Grow

Looking for Patterns in Nature

by (author) Patchen Barss

illustrated by Todd Stewart

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Environmental Science & Ecosystems, General, Anatomy & Physiology
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: k to 5


Look around you and discover nature's incredible patterns

Branching, spiraling, spinning—you can find patterns almost anywhere in nature, if you look for them. This book is a starting point that introduces kids to some major patterns in the natural world. Just as the branches of a tree spread upwards into the sky, roots branch deep into the ground. Branches also spread through our bodies, inside our lungs and veins. Storms and snail shells spiral; electrons and galaxies spin.

With brief text and full-spread illustrations, this book is designed to inspire kids to observe, discover, and explore hidden structures and shapes in the natural world around them. Why are things the way they are? This question, key to scientific inquiry, runs throughout the text.

Artwork in multilayered screen prints shows how the natural world is inherently beautiful, from the curve of your ear to the spiraling arms of our galaxy. Kids will come away with new STEM knowledge and a deeper understanding that we are all connected to nature and part of its patterns.

About the authors

PATCHEN BARSS has written, edited and produced stories about science, research and culture for more than 20 years. His writing has appeared in Nautilus Magazine, Scientific American, the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Toronto Star. He has been a producer at CBC Television and the Discovery Channel, and has a longstanding fascination with patterns and nature. He lives with his family in Toronto, Ontario.


Patchen Barss' profile page

TODD STEWART is an illustrator and a self-taught screen printer in Montreal, Quebec. Trained as a landscape architect and urban planner, his images are culled from experience and surroundings, and reflect a search for meaning in new and familiar places. The Wind and the Trees is his first book as both author and illustrator. He is also the illustrator of Flow, Spin, Grow and See You Next Year.


Todd Stewart's profile page


  • Commended, Book Links Lasting Connection
  • Commended, Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens

Editorial Reviews

"The large, rhyming action words on each page will capture young readers’ attentions."


"Flow, Spin, Grow ultimately aims not to lead but inspire children to make their own discoveries, to be their own scientists."

Quill & Quire

"The combination of clear illustrations and easy-to-read-aloud text will help make complex concepts understandable, especially for younger readers."

Kirkus Reviews

"[Flow, Spin, Grow] invites you to move, to observe [and] to participate in the world around us."

Archimedes Notebook

“The book is a different take on a familiar concept and could be used in multiple subject areas.”

School Library Connection

"A good addition to any early nonfiction collection. An especially wonderful book to read aloud and discuss with young nature-lovers."

School Library Journal

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