Singsong rhyming text introduces the myriad shapes encountered during the course of a child’s day. But one shape—any guesses?—holds special significance.
Sperring begins, “This is the shape that we are. The shape of you and me. / This is the shape of our eyes. And these are the shapes we might see.” The shapes presented in this title are really just everyday objects rather than geometrical figures, so those expecting a traditional concept book may be surprised. Eschewing concepts, debut illustrator Paterson does her best to extend the spare text with mixed-media pictures full of eye-poppingly bright images against predominantly stark white backgrounds. Her palette reflects the cheery colors most preschoolers use in their own artwork. The overall visual appeal will satisfy a wide range of little ones. The youngest readers will have fun pointing out favorite vehicles on the spread dedicated to “the shapes that pass us by…” and giggle at the inventive colors chosen to illustrate “the shapes at the zoo!” On the final page is a large heart made up of a collection of mini “shapes” introduced previously and the declaration: “And this is the shape I love you with. / This is the shape of my heart.”
While this may inspire children to create their own heart full of shapes they love, the title fails to deliver anything that has not been done before. (Picture book. 2-5)