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Triangle (Shape Trilogy) Hardcover – March 14, 2017
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From the Publisher
"Mind-blowing in the best possible way." – The Horn Book (starred review)
"Part wry comedy of errors, part Twilight Zone, this book feels timeless in that it could have been from 50 years ago, or from 50 years in the future (and possibly from another dimension)."
Klassen’s palette is quiet, his weathered backdrops are elegant, and his comic timing is precisely synched to Barnett’s deadpan prose. Triangle fools Square, and the story fools readers, too, as they wait for Square to put Triangle in his place, or for the two to reconcile. Instead, Triangle seems to win this round, even if he does finish the book trapped in his own home. Whereas the humor in Sam and Dave Dig a Hole was subtle and sly, this shape showdown is pure, antic buffoonery.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Barnett and Klassen, whose previous collaborations—Extra Yarn (2012) and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (2014)—were Caldecott Honor Books, have created a marvelously clever picture book...The simple sentences and repetition are perfect for a young audience, who will be raptly interested in the devious dynamic between the friends. Judging by this offbeat first volume, Barnett and Klassen’s planned trilogy is shaping up to be an excellent one.
—Booklist (starred review)
Klassen's minimalist visuals make for beautiful, surreal landscapes as the shapes go back and forth; Barnett's even-more-minimalist narrative leaves gaps of many shapes and sizes for readers to ponder. Children will be intrigued by the fairy-tale quality of this narrative and may enjoy debating the motivations of its peculiar characters.
Cheeky Triangle and ingenuous Square's quirky relationship is reminiscent of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad, but with a twist. Klassen does remarkable things with a minimal canvas — shapes and eyes are all he's got, after all...This weird and wonderful picture book presents a whole new angle on shapes —and friendships.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers
Both the occasionally repetitive text and the images make this title a good match for emerging readers. The characters convey an appropriate level of shifty expression through the movement of their eyes, and the ambiguous ending will elicit plenty of opinions from young audiences. An understated ode to mischief that’s sure to please fans of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.
—School Library Journal
Fans of this author-illustrator team, and of each creator individually, will recognize elements such as Klassen’s trademark simple shapes, sumptuous textures, and expressive eyes, not to mention a pesky antihero and a chase scene that goes in one direction, then back...The appended dedication and biography page includes visual confirmation that the story’s events were all in good fun.
—The Horn Book
There's a lesson about friendship along with an amusing geometry lesson in this charming picture book from the writer-artist collaborators who created the acclaimed "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" and "Extra Yarn."
This is funny stuff and, as to be expected from Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, delightfully off-kilter.
It’s all in the execution: the perfect text, the visually arresting and funny art (those eyeballs of Klassen’s! He really (re)invented eyeballs in picture books) — it’s a huge read-aloud winner of a book.
—PW ShelfTalker (blog)
Deadpan humor and artistic precision—a combination we’ve come to expect from the wicked Barnett/Klassen collaboration—make this story a joy to read night after night.
—B&N Kids Blog
In the start to another amusing trilogy from the dynamic children’s book duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, some very sneaky shapes are up to no good.
—Pregnancy & Newborn
About the Author
Mac Barnett is the author of several books for children, including Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the E. B. White Read Aloud Award. He is the co-author, with Jory John, of the New York Times best-selling series The Terrible Two. 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.
Top customer reviews
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I was more than pleased with this book! My students (6-7 y.o.) were mesmerized and engaged throughout the read aloud. They were making predictions about what would happen next and debating what they thought truly happened in the end.
My first graders loved it so much, that I got it for my 3 and 4 year old nieces. They enjoyed the illustrations and thought the ending was funny. Their dad was overjoyed to have something decent to read before bedtime.
This duo has a great chemistry. The simplicity of both Barnett's words and Klassen's illustrations work together create such a powerful narrative; one alone is not as strong as they are together. The characters, with only eyes, have so much expression that my niece picked up on.
Do not let the simple words and pictures deter you. The story packs a punch. This is a choice piece of literature.
Hiding outside Square's house, he hisses like a sneaky snake. Poor Square has a fear of snakes. Wide-eyed and panicked,he shouts at the ten million creatures he imagines to be waiting on his door step.
On hearing Square's fearful voice, Triangle cannot keep up his ruse and bursts out with laughter. Realising he's been tricked, angry Square chases Triangle all the way home again. When he's just about to catch this pointy trickster, suddenly Square gets stuck in the triangular shaped door. Oh dear!
Triangle is feeling rather smug about the situation until he realises that his home is now filled with darkness. And guess what? Triangle is afraid of the dark. Lesson learned?
Triangle as a book will stand out on any book shelf. No glossy colours or busy details here, the stylish front cover simply has a large, charcoal triangle with two wide eyes peering out. It's only when you open the cover and see the inner sleeve that the title of the book is confirmed- yes, of course, it's about a triangle.
With earthy, muted tones set against a cream background, the simplicity of Triangle is intriguing for readers. To match it's quiet illustrations, the story is uncomplicated and steadily paced. While the characters are simply drawn, their wide eyes are expressive. My (almost) 3 year old was able to identify the feelings portrayed- "He looks scared....He looks grumpy" he commented. Perplexed, he also asked "What's sneaky Mommy?" 😏
Introducing the concepts of shape and size, the pictures offer discussion about small, medium and large. My son particularly enjoyed seeing how the square shape wouldn't fit through the triangular door.
With lessons about friendship, behaviour and feelings, minimalist pictures and some shifty comedy, 'Triangle' makes for a great read.
Complimentary copy provided by Walker Books (UK) in exchange for an honest review. Posted on my blog.
Most recent customer reviews
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