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The Shape of Me and Other Stuff (Bright & Early Books) Hardcover – July 12, 1973

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Subtitled "Dr. Seuss's Surprising Word Book," The Shape of Me and Other Stuff certainly lives up to its billing. In this delightful book, first published in 1973, kids are encouraged to ponder shapes they may never have considered before: "Just think about the shape of beans and flowers and mice and big machines!" Dr. Seuss's illustrations are in silhouette (for the purpose of accenting the outlines of figures), but are nonetheless up to par with his usual wacky, amusing style. Soaring well beyond the mundane arena of circles, triangles, and squares, here we are challenged to consider "the shape of camels … the shape of bees and the wonderful shapes of back door keys!" Kids will love the silly rhymes and funny pictures, and parents will appreciate this original take on the largely untapped world of shapes. (Baby to preschool) --This text refers to the Board book edition.

Review

"This wacky, rhyming exploration of the concept of shapes will be welcomed by beginning readers."--Instructor.  
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
  • Series: Bright & Early Books
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Beginner Books (July 12, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394826876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394826875
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"A person's a person, no matter how small," Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted."

Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped millions of kids learn to read.

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1925, he went to Oxford University, intending to acquire a doctorate in literature. At Oxford, Geisel met Helen Palmer, whom he wed in 1927. Upon his return to America later that year, Geisel published cartoons and humorous articles for Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at that time. His cartoons also appeared in major magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty. Geisel gained national exposure when he won an advertising contract for an insecticide called Flit. He coined the phrase, "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" which became a popular expression.

Geisel published his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, after 27 publishers rejected it.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading.

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#20 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#20 in Books
#20 in Books

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
One of the most difficult problems that many beginning readers have is to notice those pesky little differences between letters (like b and d, and q and p). Many children don't focus that much and get a general impression of a shape when looking at a letter or a group of letters. This interesting beginning reader helps you child to "see" the benefits of studying detail more closely.
The book is primarily a series of solid shapes (mostly black on white) set off with bright colors used in some shapes, as backgrounds for others, and as rectangles around words. Each one is a different item. Some of the many items silhouetted include a bug, balloon, bed, bike, beans, flowers, mice, big mahines, elephants, ships, teapots, water dripping, bird cages, peanuts, pineapple, noses, grapes, glasses, scissors, the various shapes that gum can be pulled into, smoke, marshmallows, fires, mountains, roosters, horses, tires, camels, bees, back door keys, spider webs, clothes, garden hose, mug, imaginary beings (like a BLOGG), trombone, fish, whale and a frog. This is not all, but it is more than half.
As you can imagine, a young child will be able to identify very few while an older child will get almost all of them. Not all of the profiles have words associated with them in the text.
As a result, this book should be read in different ways at different stages of development. For example, two year olds will identify more objects if they get a hint from you. Also, if you child likes sounds, you could make a sound like the object for your clue.
For an older child, you can also work together to spell the names of the shapes that are not in the text. For someone about to graduate from the book, you could try creating some rhymes with the shapes that are not mentioned.
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Format: Board book
This book has been a favorite of my 22 month old daughter since she was 3 months! It is a lively, fun book that is classic Seuss. I would definetly recommend it as a first book.
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Format: Hardcover
In "The Shape of Me and Other Stuff," Dr. Seuss experiments with an artistic approach that is very different from that of his best-known work. This book teaches about shapes, and the illustrations consist entirely of silhouettes of various items: people, elephants, boats, keys, etc.
The shadow-like illustrations are accompanied by rhymes in the familiar Seussian style: "Peanuts and pineapples / noses and grapes. / Everything comes in different shapes." While the book is educational and entertaining, I felt that the silhouettes-only art lacked some of the wacky charm of the full Seussian illustration technique. Nevertheless, I recommend "The Shape of Me and Other Stuff" as a fun addition to the family or classroom library.
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Format: Board book
Although everything is shown in silhouette, there is plenty of color and action and my kids (boy and girl; now 3 and 5) have always like it. There are herds of elephants, steaming machines, flowers, critters and more.

As the first spotlight reviewer did a good job of summarizing the assortment of critters and things that one can find I won't say more.

But in regards to the use of silhouettes instead of pictures or detailed line drawings at least one reviewer has said that they didn't like them. But I think they miss the point. The book is about *shapes* and how much you *can* identify without the `advantage' of a detailed picture. And looking at the silhouette and identifying the item/creature is part and parcel of the mental exercise, just like the rhythm and rhyme of the story. If you used pictures you'd hardly learn anything about `shapes' would you.

No, the use of shadows is just right for exercising young minds. For reaching for that Aristotelian abstract (LOL) of what is `skunk'. And it is amazing how even the littlest of people can tell a skunk from a cat even with Seuss' odd artwork.

Five Stars. 19 pages of fun for boys and girls. This sturdy boardbook is a good read-aloud that stretches the imagination.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Seuss, of course, was extremely prolific. What this means for me is that some of his books I *adore*, but some I'm ambivalent about. This book is definitely in the latter category.

It's very easy for beginning readers to read, though.
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A Kid's Review on September 28, 2003
Format: Board book
The book the shape of me and other stuff is about the shape of you and things around you. It teaches you that there is nothing the same shape. The age level for this book would be threeto five. This book was good but it would be better for three to five year olds.
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Format: Hardcover
... this book is a terrific way to explore many more shapes in this big old world! While this book does have various colors on the pages, the focus is on shapes, and it was a great idea by Theodor Geisel to draw the items in SILHOUETTE to allow children to focus on those shapes without the distraction of facial expressions, multi colors within each item, etc. The shapes are all pretty much "normal" items, with a whimsical, Seuss-ish creation thrown in here and there. It ends with encouraging kids to appreciate the shape of their own bodies - "Of all the shapes we MIGHT have been... I say, 'HOORAY for the shapes we're in!'" The simple words and rhymes complement the art and make for enjoyable reading.

It's been such a wonderful opportunity for me to babysit my two grandsons, now having the ability (and time) to share in their daily development in a more focused way than I was able to do with my own two grown sons, since I worked outside of the home. I've found myself pulling out some of my mother's old "tricks" when it comes to playtime, and this book reminded me of when she'd sit a lamp on the floor, take the lampshade off and turn out the lights, so that we could see our silhouettes on the wall and have fun making different shapes with our hands, doing silly dances or poses - everything "old" is "new" again with my grandsons! When our younger grandson's first Christmas rolled around, he was just 9 months old - since we'd already accumulated an overload of toddler toys for our older grandson that he would inherit, Grandpa & I decided to make his gifts the beginning of a complete collection of Dr. Seuss books.
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The Shape of Me and Other Stuff (Bright & Early Books)
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