Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review - Circles, Stars, and Squares


Circles, Stars, and Squares: Looking for Shapes (Jane Brocket's Clever Concepts)

By: Jane Brocket
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0761346111
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 8, 2012

If you take a look through this book you will see all kinds of shapes. It’s lots of fun to discover the many different shapes around us and even more fun to know their names. When you are being artistic “you can draw and paint flat shapes on paper.” However, you can easily see that “solid shapes are different.” Can you tell the difference between something you can draw on a piece of paper and something you hold in your hand? It’s easy to pick out circles like the stickers you see on the page or the shape of the top of the pink butterfly cupcake. An oval is not quite the same because it is “a circle that has been squashed in the middle.”

Squares have “four straight sides all the same,” but when you look at a rectangle you can easily see the difference. They have four sides as well, “but two are long and two are short.” You can see them in bricks, on the door, and the windows you see in these pictures. Triangles are fun to look at and sometimes you can see them in a quilt. Not all triangles are quite the same and you’ll learn how they can be different. If you put “two triangles together [you] can make a diamond.” You’ll also learn about shapes such as pentagons, hexagons, octagons, spheres, cylinders, cubes, cones, rings, and happy looking hearts. Can you find some of these shapes around you?

This is a fun, interesting look at shapes that will introduce young children to geometric concepts. The nice assortment of shapes shown in this book are presented by demonstrating them in familiar objects that young children can see around them. Some of the latter shapes in the book are more advanced, but quite recognizable. For example, children will quickly recognize the sphere shape of an orange or tomato. The photographs are vibrant and represent each shape quite nicely. The word indicating the shape is highlighted in a bright, bold color. An emergent reader can tackle the text with assistance, but this book would also be a perfect introduction to shapes for preschoolers. It would be an excellent read and discuss book for circle or storytime.

Quill says: Jane Brocket's Clever Concept series is an excellent series that librarians, homeschoolers, parents, and caretakers should consider adding to their shelves!