Reminiscent of Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard’s Noisy Book series from the ’30s-’50s, Kevin Henkes has adopted the simple, direct and child-friendly style of writing in the refreshingly quirky Circle Dogs that takes us through a day in the life of a pair of pet dachshunds.
With its curious title, naturally it seems fitting to feature this book on hump day. ‘Wednesday‘ refers to the day when Big Square and Little Round get together on a weekly basis to play their favourite game, where they each morph into the shape of whichever noun that either of them decides, such as a butterfly, a mushroom and a flower.
The contents of Swirl by Swirl are pretty self-evident from its full title: basically, it provides a comprehensive summary of where — and sometimes even why — spirals, in all its forms, occur in nature. Instead of simply doing a dry scientific study, however, the authors have created a stunning book that would be more accurately described as poetic and artistic.
There are probably hundreds of children’s books out there on shapes — almost all featuring photographs of simple objects, or straightforward illustrations. While infants and very young toddlers who are just starting to recognise basic geometric shapes will appreciate these books, they will also tire of them very quickly.
Enter, stage left, Museum Shapes by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the perfect book for toddlers who have already mastered the basic shapes. Like My First ABC, the most unique selling point of Museum Shapes is that every painting that appears in the book is a bona fide piece of art hanging in the museum, including works by renowned names such as Picasso and van Gogh — a great way to subtly introduce children to fine art.
The Shape of My Heart is a sweet and creatively conceptualised book that celebrates both the “regular” and irregular shapes of the things that we see all around us, and encourages the reader to see the world a little differently.
Everyday Shapes is a sturdy board book that uses short rhyming verses and large, removable puzzle pieces that babies can handle, to help them learn and recognise the basic shapes — star, heart, oval, diamond and flower. The removable puzzle pieces are also great for developing the child’s small motor skills as he or she practises removing and replacing the shapes.
Round, Square, Triangle is a very basic book with clean illustrations that teaches babies the three common shapes.
Color Zoo is a unique and highly creative book that features very brightly coloured layers of cutouts of shapes that form animal faces. By turning a page, a layer of the cutouts is removed, thus transforming one animal into another.