Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SHAPES by Shelley Rotner


by Shelley Rotner & Anne Woodhull ; photographed by Shelley Rotner

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4638-4
Publisher: Holiday House

Exciting young children about mathematical concepts is becoming increasingly important, as parents and teachers recognize the value of STEM education.

This attractive, new full-color photo essay will stimulate children to recognize, name, and categorize the basic shapes they see everywhere. The multisensory text encourages kids to associate shapes with listening and feeling. Taste and smell can also be explored. Phrases like “TRIANGLES chime...” and “OVALS pop...” will inspire poetic use of language. The introductory spread for each shape includes one photo within a cutout of the shape, for example, a red kite within a diamond-shaped background of blue sky, and the caption: “DIAMONDS fly....” The page turn reveals a grid of photos of diamond shapes, including pips on playing cards, textiles and tiles, and a baseball diamond. The text naming these images appears in one box in the grid, so identifying which photo represents what’s described becomes a game, potentially spurring creative thought. On many spreads, racially diverse children interact with the shapes; a light-brown–skinned child sports a star barrette in curly brown hair, an Asian-presenting kid holds a square, wrapped present. The book ends with a challenge in the form of photos of different shapes and a question: “What shapes do you see?” An opening note discusses the difference between plane and spatial geometry and the importance of shape identification in early learning.

High-quality photos of children and objects from nature and the built environment engage kids in exploring basic geometry.

(Informational picture book. 3-5)