From “arch” to “zigzag,” an alphabetical catalog of shapes (and a few symbols) rarely found in concept books.
In the follow-up to ABC Color (2017), Chagollan and Arrhenius adhere to the previous format and remind readers that there are more shapes in the world than the standard square, circle, triangle, etc. The names of two shapes are listed on the verso (“ellipse” and “fleur-de-lis,” for instance), and on the recto appears an illustration incorporating the featured forms (a white, red-haired knight carrying an elliptical shield sporting a fleur-de-lis insignia in this case). Many of the formal, geometric names are used for the configurations, such as “lemniscate” for an infinity symbol and a “squircle” for a square with rounded corners, and may be new to grown-up and child readers alike. Arrhenius’ graphic imagery is pleasingly flat and simple, with keen use of nicely matched, muted colors. Unfortunately, the project lacks much diversity, as most of the skin tones are a rosy pink and never darker than a pale brown. The opening double-page spread depicts a beach scene and many of the shapes to follow; inspired readers will turn back once they’ve finished to use their new vocabulary. The final pages recount all the forms in a rapid-fire list for easy reference.
Too sophisticated for the traditional board-book crowd, it’s a handsome offering for older children who are ready to take a geometric deep dive. (Board book. 3-5)