Colouring book to bring “insight and illumination” into maths

Colouring book to bring “insight and illumination” into maths

Canongate has acquired a mathematical colouring book.

Katy Follain, publishing director of non-fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Snowflake, Seashell, Star by Alex Bellos from Rebecca Carter at Janklow & Nesbit.

Bellos has “created a unique and inspiring colouring book using patterns such as loops, waves and spirals to bring insight and illumination into mathematics through the meditative experience of colouring in”.

The illustrations are a collaboration between Bellos and his friend, the mathematical artist Edmund Harriss.

The book will have two sections: the first, ‘Colouring’, offers completed images for colouring in, while the second, ‘Creating’, gives simple rules to follow in order for original images to be produced.

There are notes at the end that give an “explanation of the eternal truths and abstract perfection of the designs”.
Canongate said: “The result is a stunning celebration of how mathematics is the search to understand the patterns of the universe in their purest form.”

Bellos said: “This book has been incredibly fun and exciting to create. The patterns I’ve chosen are all doubly enjoyable – they are gorgeous to look at and colour in, but they also unlock hidden mathematical ideas. Joyful contemplation of mathematical patterns has long been part of the human experience, from the philosophers of Ancient Greece to the artists of the Renaissance, via Islamic design and Hindu mandalas. My aim with Snowflake, Seashell, Star has been to provide an effortless appreciation of this magical beauty.”

Follain said: “This is the ultimate colouring book – one that challenges and educates, but in a mindful and engaging way. Who knew that the world of mathematics could be so visually beautiful? Alex Bellos is the best maths communicator in the country, and with his friend Edmund Harriss he has assembled the most exquisite patterns for a book that will appeal to all ages, regardless of their mathematical aptitudes. ”

Snowflake, Seashell, Star: Colouring Adventures in Numberland will be published by Canongate in September 2015.