This Australian concept book involves the whole body.
Twelve children bend, twist, and join limbs to form various shapes, all photographed against large, patterned pops of color. Readers are introduced to each child by name on the title-page spread. The kids start simply, with circles and triangles. Some shapes are accomplished alone (a circle with one’s arms overhead or a “little” triangle with one’s fingers). But most shapes are a collaborative effort. (Whenever one child’s toes nearly touch another’s face, the apprehensive looks are priceless.) Walker expertly photographs from various angles, though the overhead shots are by far the most clever and amusing. The shapes start to get more complicated (a star, a diamond) until interpretations become a bit looser and more creative. Children standing side by side holding hands are a wavy line, and two others hiding behind Ari with arms straight out becomes a six-armed “Ari-tangle.” Orpin’s backgrounds and frames often echo the shapes in case extra reinforcement is needed. The children are racially diverse with names hinting at ethnic diversity as well, and playful touches (tongues out, gleeful smiles) expertly capture childlike exuberance.
A treat for all learners, kinesthetic or otherwise. (Picture book. 3-6)