By David Shapiro, Illustrated by Hayley Vair
Craigmore Creations, 32 pages, $14.99
Flowers by Number by David Shapiro and illustrated by Hayley Vair is a new children’s book from Portland’s Craigmore Creations (Right Where You Are Now, Terra Tempo), the first in their “Little Naturalist” series. Counting one through ten, readers are introduced to ten species of flower that, while not exclusive to, are native to the Pacific Northwest. The common and Latin names of each flower are included, as well as a description and beautiful illustration. Pacific Northwest readers who have spent time outside in nature may recognize the familiar Western Trillium or Skunk Cabbage. Whether used for practicing numbers, appreciating nature through art, or learning to identify wild flowers, Flowers by Number is a book to be enjoyed by parents and their children together. One Latin species name for a flower is unfortunately misspelled (oderata should be odorata), and using a Skunk Cabbage’s flowery stalk to represent the number one is perhaps erroneous because what appears to be one flower is in fact hundreds of tiny flowers. Exact numbers aside, Flowers by Number is a fun and warmly-illustrated beginning to what is hopefully a continuing series of books about natural history for young, curious readers.
Reviewed by Michael Barton