Uma Wimple Charts Her House

Penguin/Anne Schwartz. May 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593181188.
Gr 1-3–Third grader Uma’s charting habits cover the length of her father’s fingers, her height, the number of freckles on her cheeks, the chronicling of her shin scrapes. She loves to make charts, even a chart of her gear for making them: pie charts, bar charts, Venn diagrams, pyramid charts, map charts, or tree charts. Examples of her personal charts include the moon phases and possibilities of werewolves, her personal food pyramid, or a record of the Wimple family’s daily screen time. Above all, they are NOT simple doodles, but based upon data. Mixed media art in a subdued palette creates folk-inspired trees in a neighborhood of unique houses and highlights the detail of hand-drawn illustrations with a comic flair. When a class assignment is given to “draw a chart of your home,” Uma is overwhelmed with the possibilities and ways to describe it. A variety of fonts emphasizes her scattered thoughts: should she chart brick patterns, or windows, maybe roof angles? She even charts the levels of love in her household and those who make it special.
VERDICT What a tumble into a young girl’s brain and heart, all calculations and systems. A suggested first purchase for libraries, this title brings creativity—and a bit of math—to an understanding of all of life.

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