The basic shapes—circle (in yellow), triangle (in red), square (in blue), rectangle (in orange)—combine to form easily recognizable objects.
A home, a truck, a rocket, a robot, a friend, and a kitty are revealed on the first pages. Then readers see a cake, a gift, and a party, revealing that this is a birthday story too. Just as each image is reduced to its essence, the author reduces a party to its essential elements. The economy of words is remarkable. This effort has some of the same design challenges as companion Critter Colors (also 2015). The muted color palette is not particularly eye-catching; the pale yellow used for both lettering and for the circle shape is hard to see when placed against white backgrounds. Parents or teachers might be tempted to try to use the book as an instructional tool. Each spread includes four smaller pictures that show the steps for re-creating the pictured object from the basic shapes. This activity is well beyond the manual dexterity of most of the board-book audience, though.
Best when used or displayed alongside the blocks, where it might inspire young children to build their own shape-based creations. (Board book. 18 mos.-4)