Lizann Flatt

author of Flatt-out Fantastic Books


Do you think that math matters to the animals and plants? What if nature knew numbers like you? Can you imagine what patterns and sorting could do?

Would flowers grow in patterns? Would rain fall in a rhythm? Would birds balance their nests in a tree?

The wonders of nature, shown in vibrant cut-paper collage, help children grasp the concepts of patterning, data management, and probability. Using an engaging “What if?” format, Sorting through Spring combines mathematical problem solving with lyrical text, bringing children to a full understanding of basic math concepts while observing the natural world in spring.

The Story Behind the Book

I was never a good math student, and honestly it’s still not a subject I like all that much. Math all seemed so abstract and I didn’t see how much of it was relevant to my life. Fast forward a few--ahem--decades. In helping my kids with their math homework, I was struck by how some of the math concepts seemed to be discussed in more interesting ways than I remembered. But still, one of my kids kept complaining about how math was dumb and not related to anything and why did we have to learn this stuff, so I decided to play what if--what if the animals used math too? That was the inspiration.

From there it was research to look into the primary math curriculum and expectations, and research into nature phenomena. The best part was putting together the math and the animals because I got to be a bit goofy--I mean come on, who wouldn’t love to see smelt in their schools demonstrate pattern rules?


Sorting through Spring

Written by Lizann Flatt

Illustrated by Ashley Barron

OwlKids Books, March 2013

ISBN: 978-1-926973-59-3

32 pages

8½ x 10 ¾

Other titles in the “Math in Nature” series:

Counting on Fall,

Sizing up Winter (out fall 2013)

Shaping up Summer (out spring 2014)

Where To Find It

Download the Teacher’s Guide from OwlKids

Direct link to PDF file

List of all OwlKids Teachers Guides



Sorting through Spring

part of the Math in Nature series

I love all the spring flowers. Here are some of the things that pop up in my rock garden.