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WHEN A LINE BENDS...A SHAPE BEGINS by Rhonda Gowler Greene

WHEN A LINE BENDS...A SHAPE BEGINS

By Rhonda Gowler Greene (Author) , James Kaczman (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-395-78606-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

 Cataloging several examples for each of ten regular shapes, Greene develops in an ever-changing rhyme scheme the premise that all shapes are made from bent lines. It's an eye-opening insight for readers, but confusing when blocks are considered square, a bubble, marble, and ``curled kitten'' are included in the list of circles, and ``star'' is defined as ``the shape of a fish.'' Readers may also falter at the triangle spread, since the three blocks of text are placed so that it's hard to tell in what order they're to be read; the ``tent built just for you'' has a triangular opening, but what children will notice is the diamond- shaped side. Kaczman's picture-book debut features a set of stylized, evenly colored, very simply drawn scenes, sometimes viewed from playfully skewed angles or featuring sight gags--a police officer chowing down on a doughnut, a kilted man playing hopscotch. Still, an instructional intent hangs heavy over this, and the examples are not always on target; a better book on the topic is Dayle Ann Dodds's The Shape of Things (1994). (Picture book. 4-6)