SHAPES AT PLAY by Silvia Borando


From the "Minibombo" series
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 4
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Against stark-white pages, identical red triangles, identical yellow squares, and identical blue circles are arranged and rearranged into familiar items amid a text heavily punctuated with exclamation marks.

The page facing the title page is encouraging: one of each of the shapes—with smiling face and matching boots, as on the cover—stands facing readers. The bold, black text beneath says, “Let’s play!” After that, the shapes become faceless and legless, but the text retains a forced cheerfulness and excitement to convey rather prosaic instructions. “March, little triangles, with a one, two, three!” appears above three identical red triangles on the verso. The illustration on the opposite page shows one additional, small triangle on the bottom next to a large triangle created from 16 smaller ones, topped by “Let’s build a BIG triangle!” After the squares make a big square, the circles bounce around. Eventually, all three shapes together create such things as houses, trees, and a train. (“So let’s be a train! Chugga…CHOO CHOO!”) Inexplicably, there is a weird, incorrect nod to physics when the text says of circles, “The more of us there are, the HIGHER we’ll go!” The book cries out for interaction, such as identical tiles for little hands to place over the three shapes in their primary colors, but without it, it’s a strangely passive experience; readers may wish to explore the app of the same name.

Offers nothing unique in a market full of concept books about shapes. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 7th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9038-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2016


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