Children will be intrigued by the fairy-tale quality of this narrative and may enjoy debating the motivations of its...

TRIANGLE

From the Shape Trilogy series

The pairing of Barnett’s deceptively simple, tongue-in-cheek text with Klassen’s iconic splattered and stenciled watercolor and digital illustrations in earth tones makes for a unique approach to exploring shapes.

Triangle, a black shape with stick legs and large eyes, inhabits a triangular house. Tired of triangular living, he leaves his domain and sets out to play a “sneaky trick” on Square. Walking past a forest of different-sized triangles and shapes resembling huge boulders, he comes to the land of the squares. When he arrives at Square’s house, he hisses at Square’s door like a snake, sending the four-sided shape into conniptions until his laughter gives him away. Mad as heck at the trick, Square chases Triangle back through the forest of shapes to Triangle’s house. Alas, his shape prevents him from entering the triangular doorway. Inadvertently, Square discovers Triangle’s fear of the dark when he blocks the light from the doorway, causing Triangle to cry out with terror. Square claims this is what he intended all along. “But do you really believe him?” The book is limited as shape instruction, as only two easy shapes are depicted, but that’s not really the point. Klassen’s minimalist visuals make for beautiful, surreal landscapes as the shapes go back and forth; Barnett’s even-more-minimalist narrative leaves gaps of many shapes and sizes for readers to ponder.

Children will be intrigued by the fairy-tale quality of this narrative and may enjoy debating the motivations of its peculiar characters. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9603-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.

ANIMAL SHAPES

You think you know shapes? Animals? Blend them together, and you might see them both a little differently!

What a mischievous twist on a concept book! With wordplay and a few groan-inducing puns, Neal creates connections among animals and shapes that are both unexpected and so seemingly obvious that readers might wonder why they didn’t see them all along. Of course, a “lazy turtle” meeting an oval would create the side-splitting combo of a “SLOW-VAL.” A dramatic page turn transforms a deeply saturated, clean-lined green oval by superimposing a head and turtle shell atop, with watery blue ripples completing the illusion. Minimal backgrounds and sketchy, impressionistic detailing keep the focus right on the zany animals. Beginning with simple shapes, the geometric forms become more complicated as the book advances, taking readers from a “soaring bird” that meets a triangle to become a “FLY-ANGLE” to a “sleepy lion” nonagon “YAWN-AGON.” Its companion text, Animal Colors, delves into color theory, this time creating entirely hybrid animals, such as the “GREEN WHION” with maned head and whale’s tail made from a “blue whale and a yellow lion.” It’s a compelling way to visualize color mixing, and like Animal Shapes, it’s got verve. Who doesn’t want to shout out that a yellow kangaroo/green moose blend is a “CHARTREUSE KANGAMOOSE”?

Innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4998-0534-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more