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Square (The Shapes Trilogy) Hardcover – Picture Book, May 8, 2018

4.8 out of 5 stars 816 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Square (The Shapes Trilogy)
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  • Circle (The Shapes Trilogy)
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  • Triangle (The Shapes Trilogy)
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

Square’s efforts to please are equal parts hilarious and cringeworthy, and the moment he topples over in exhaustion is comic gold. The story’s decidedly ambiguous conclusion leaves the door open for questions about what it means to be an artist—and that’s the whole point.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This book takes a sweeter turn from its prankish predecessor in that Square works hard to create something for Circle, only to feel like he failed; but when Circle sees what he created, she is “beguiled” once more by his genius. Though this title will stand alone, children familiar with Triangle might recognize the extra layer of humor at the end when an unnamed narrator poses a game-changer of a question. A must purchase that will satisfy old fans and create new ones.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Funny and lightly philosophical, Barnett’s story gets an extra punch of hilarity with Klassen’s minimalist graphite-and-watercolor artwork. A must for Triangle fans that will leave them wondering how this geometric drama will end.
—Booklist

With typically deceptive minimalism Klassen places a few flat, blocky shapes on the white pages to suggest the physical landscape, angling Square's body and glance to convey the emotional one. Humor is in the details: a bit of twig that catches on harried Square's head and stays there; the shadow that appears beneath Circle as she floats along through the air. For all its brevity, chockablock with philosophical topics to ponder and debate.
—Kirkus Reviews

Barnett’s text is funny and profound, raising philosophical questions about intent, genius, and truth. Klassen’s trademark eyes do a lot of emotive work amid the spare, fantastical set- ting. Angled lines (in the rocks, plants, and slanting rain) and white space direct readers’ own eyes across each page or spread, and short sentences, smart dialogue, and word repetition keep the story moving at a steady pace. Readers looking for a compelling read-aloud will not be disappointed.
—The Horn Book

There’s a ’60s flair to this story of friendship and artistry; the text is spare yet robust, with a lot of meaning behind the carefully selected words, and the open-ended conclusion will give kids much to discuss. Klassen’s watercolor, graphite, and digital art is animation ready, with simple textured shapes against white backgrounds...While the story could provoke discussions about expectations and friendships, this title is most at home as an original entry in art curricula.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Square attempts to make a Circle sculpture that will be as perfect as his friend is...Children will no doubt find the results hilarious. The droll illustrations by the Niagara Falls, Ont., native Klassen, in subtle shades of gray, brown and blue, endow these friends with personality and Barnett's simple text is perfect.
—The Buffalo News

Droll, subdued and enigmatic, this second volume of a planned trilogy will delight children ages 5-9.”
—The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Mac Barnett is the author of numerous books for children, including four illustrated by Jon Klassen: The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse; Triangle; Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, winner of the E. B. White Read Aloud Award; and Extra Yarn, which won a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Mac Barnett lives in California.

Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book; This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal; and We Found a Hat. He is also the illustrator of two Caldecott Honor books, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, both written by Mac Barnett. Jon Klassen lives in Los Angeles.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick; Illustrated edition (May 8, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0763696072
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0763696078
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 2 - 5 years, from customers
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Kindergarten - 4
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9 x 0.45 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 816 ratings

About the author

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Mac Barnett is a New York Times-bestselling author whose books for children have sold more than one million copies in the United States and have been translated into over 30 languages. His picture books include two Caldecott-Honor-winning collaborations with Jon Klassen: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, which also won the E.B White Read-Aloud Award, and Extra Yarn, which won both the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and The Skunk, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, were named two of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 by The New York Times. Mac's novels include the Brixton Brothers series of mystery novels The Terrible Two series. He lives in Oakland, California.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
816 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 23, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shapes are fun!
By L.T Spunglesworth on October 23, 2018
Shapes are fun! My daughter loves these books. The drawings are so interesting, bizar and fun. We have had the the Triangle book for some time and my daughter loves it. I was excited to see there were more in this series so I surprised her with Square.

My daughter loves the book but I definitely like Triangles story much better. Why is Square moving all the squares? Isn’t his cave big enough? What’s the point? I also feel the Squares story just ends abruptly and unfinished. But the drawings are so odd and fun to look at I don’t mind reading it over and over.

We are looking forward to the third in the sereies - Circle!

PS: I am making her a Triangle and Square costume for Halloween.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 10, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Q
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, fun illustrations
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 26, 2019
3 people found this helpful
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Albert Wilce
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 2, 2020
3 people found this helpful
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Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Really love Jon Klassen's style.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 13, 2020
Dudu
4.0 out of 5 stars A little difficult to understand
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 20, 2020
Mk.S
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 14, 2021