Hesselberth’s is an unusual sort of shape concept book, encouraging readers to create pictures from simple shapes.
A blonde girl and a redheaded boy (both white and with body parts made from simple shapes) each take a single shape and combine the two, challenging themselves and each other to invent a scene incorporating them. A triangle atop a semicircle becomes a ballerina in a tutu leaping across a stage, her arms outstretched. Or it’s an elephant floating through the sky with the help of a bunch of balloons. What do you get when you put a crescent on top of a trapezoid? The head of an angry bull or a fish returning to the water after a jump. Other combinations include a rectangle atop a circle (a lady with a hat, a futuristic car) and the penultimate puzzler: an oval atop a diamond atop a square (an upside-down clown). Readers are given a chance to imagine their own scenes with the final double-page spread, which presents them with 12 two-shape scenarios. Muted colors and bold, graphic designs highlight the shapes in the illustrations, made with mixed media and digital paint, and the shapes are highlighted, making it easy to pick them out within the scenes.
Most shape books ask readers to find shapes in the everyday world; Hesselberth does the opposite and sparks children’s imaginations. (Concept book. 2-6)