Friday, December 25, 2015

Shaping Up! Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld



When you first learn about shapes, you start seeing them everywhere. It seems that everything is made out of shapes! And, truth to tell, most everything is.

In their latest, Friendshape (Scholastic Press, 2015), ace creators Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld again combine their language and art skills to show youngsters what wonderful things four little shapes can be and do.


Triangle centers itself on top of square, and voila'! It's a house! and red Rectangle rolls out in front, a red carpet for Circle to use to roll up right to the door!

Friends can make for fun, too! Balance Rectangle at the apex of Triangle, and LOOK! Square and Circle have themselves a seesaw upon which to enjoy the ups and downs of geometry!

And this circle of friendship is not exclusive, as we see when Octagon happens comes into view.
GLAD YOU COULD STOP BY! (Get it? Stop Sign?)

Shapes can disagree, but if they look at the idea from another angle, one can see that the other has got a good point! Friendshapes stick together to make stacks, even though their constructions do have their ups and downs, but they usually get their ideas off the ground, as square on rectangle topped by triangle make a rocket flight to the moon, appropriately played by blue Circle. And with triangle around, they know they always have a friend to lean on. In fact, if they line up just right, the friends can even spell out l o v e! (sort of)!

When author Rosenthal and artist Lichtenheld come together, even their pages are models of collaborative excellence. Rosenthal's easy wordplay and Lichtenheld's witty sight gags make this lesson in primary shapes an adventure for the imagination and an easy lesson on cooperation that will have kids eager to try their hand to see what else they can make with their shape blocks. Perfect as a lap book for a toddler, a preschool class read for a shapes unit, or a funny easy read for emergent readers, this one is a first purchase for home, public, and school libraries.

Pair this one with Michael Hall's Perfect Square and his delightful My Heart Is Like a Zoo, (see my reviews here) and for a look at natural shapes, Judith Nouvion's Shapes (Picture This) (see review here) for a basic geometry lesson which will leave no one bent out of shape!

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