City Shapes

illus. by Bryan Collier. 40p. Little, Brown. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316370929.
RedReviewStarPreS-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.

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