Silvia Borando, Shapes at Play, Walker Books, 1 July 2016, 32pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781406367331
Silvia Borando, Shapes, Reshape!, Walker Books, 1 July 2016, 48pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781406367348
Throughout the pages of these books the shapes ‘play’ to experiment, explore and create new shapes, ideas and adventures.
Shapes at Play introduces us to Triangle, Square and Circle – which I often consider to be the first 3 shapes in early childhood. The three characters explore the idea of creating brand-new shapes by building and stacking themselves on top of one another; “a BIG triangle”, “a GIANT square” – but can circle stack atop another circle? No, but it can do something the others can’t – BOUNCE!
This simple yet playful book is engaging; with an abundance of learning opportunities available to explore: colours, numbers and counting, problem solving, classifying, exploring cause and effect, creativity and imagination; and more – the opportunities are endless.
Shapes, Reshape! counts backwards from 10 to 1 using different shapes to create new animals on each page. We’re provided with a clue alongside the shapes, who are neatly stacked in size, shape and colour – “what could they be?” Snakes? Lions? A dragon?
Descriptive words and alliteration make for an enjoyable and easy to read adventure within each page of the book. The text engages the young audience by involving them in the story, asking them what the shapes could create. Again, the opportunities seem endless.
I would recommend these books for the younger ages of the early years but could also see them used as an introduction for experiences of deeper thinking for kindergarten children. While reading these books my ‘teacher’ mind went into overdrive; thinking of the variety of experiences which could be used as an extension of these stories – colours and colour mixing, classifying, creating characters or pictures using shapes, and for older children perhaps even writing their own shape stories or inventing their own shape character.
Reviewed by Raquel Mayman