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City Shapes Hardcover – June 21, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Readers are encouraged to view the city as a kaleidoscope of shape and color in this rhyming tour provided by a young girl on the sidewalk and a pigeon soaring above. Elements of urban life, including a mail truck, a pretzel cart, skyscrapers, park benches, street vendors, taxis, the subway, and a street performer, also reveal seven basic shapes. "And nearby, the kites seem to dance in the sky./Some SHAPES in the city are…/DIAMONDS that fly." Youngsters will eagerly identify squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, ovals, diamonds, and stars in the busy spreads as well as complete each rhyme to reveal the targeted shape. As night and stars appear in the sky, "the pigeon flies back through the night cityscape/as city lights sparkle, SHAPE after SHAPE./But her heart starts to ache for the SHAPE/she loves best./The SHAPE that is home—/her warm CIRCLE nest…." Collier's rich watercolor and collage spreads feature a child (his four-year-old daughter) as tour guide, smiling and waving us along. The endpapers offer a 3-D geometric world of colorful buildings. Children will enjoy studying the illustrations to identify the various shapes as well as the scattered collage photos of greenery, people, buildings, and cars. VERDICT A colorful look at city life as well as a fun way to teach shapes to young children.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
About the Author
Diana Murray writes stories and poems for children. She is the author of Grimelda, The Very Messy Witch, Ned the Knitting Pirate and several other picture books. Her poems have appeared in many magazines, including Highlights for Children and Spider. She grew up in New York City and still lives nearby with her firefighter husband, two children, a goldfish, and a bearded dragon.
Top customer reviews
This dynamic picture book celebrates the beauty of urban life, the movement and rush of it all, the variety you find there. Seen through the lens of finding shapes in real life, this picture book would be a great way to look outside your own windows and see shapes there too. The bright friendliness of the city streets makes for a refreshing picture book. The text reads as a poem, filled with rhymes and rhythms that match the city setting.
Collier’s illustrations are a gorgeous mix of media, incorporating collage in a way that makes the shapes stand out but also fit into the setting too. It’s very cleverly done. The little girl in the book is based on Collier’s own young daughter. Her face is filled with enthusiasm throughout the book, her attitude wonderfully contagious.
A beautiful, colorful and shape-ly book that celebrates urban life. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Written for young children, the story follows a young girl as she discovers shapes all around her. Young children will find hidden shapes found throughout the book.
This engaging concept book encourages readers to re-read the story looking for shapes they may have missed the first time through.
Librarians will find that this colorful picture book provides an excellent exploration of shapes “all around us”. After reading the story, provide art tools or digital cameras and ask children to go out and find shapes in their world.
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Published by Little, Brown, an imprint of Hachette Book Group on June 21, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.
Pros: Award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier has created a bright visual feast on every page of a book that would make an excellent introduction to shapes. Kids will be inspired to find shapes in their everyday lives.
Cons: Only seven shapes are introduced.