Close-up photographs of architectural details give young readers a counting challenge.
Hill’s photographs take readers to the Art Deco District of Miami Beach, where they can count “1 yellow diamond,” “4 purple squares,” and “10 green rectangles,” among other shapes. She has to stretch to find 10 distinct shapes to fill her book, and readers may rightly feel that “3 gray wavy lines” and “9 pink zigzags” aren’t, strictly speaking, shapes. The book’s design is striking and thoughtful, each double-page spread enclosed in a black frame decorated with small examples of the shape and color highlighted; blue stars decorate the frame around the seven stars on the sign of a movie theater, for instance. Some artistic license has been taken, as with the white triangles that march in saw-tooth pattern around the photograph of “5 black triangles” that interrupt a square of white tiles. The photographs are always on recto, the numeral and brief text label printed on verso in the classically elegant, sans serif typeface associated with the Art Deco era against a plain field of the color featured. A concluding double-page spread presents eight photographs of new building details along with a challenge to readers to find further shapes and colors in them.
While not a child’s first counting book, it is a beautiful one and an inspiration to caregivers to help their children find shapes in their own neighborhoods. (Picture book. 2-6)