Shape Shift by Joyce Hesselberth
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
January 12, 2016
Round, curvy, pointy, or straight-shapes are all around us.
There have been a lot of shape books coming out lately. As someone who used to work at a bookstore, I can tell you that concept books like shapes were not exactly the most popular books around although people did certainly buy them. Like the issues books about sadness or having a baby sister/brother, these books are geared at a very specific demographic and after a while they do start to all feel the same. Last spring I was blown away by Steve Light's Have You Seen My Monster? that included both a story and interesting shape concepts. For me, this book lacked that kind of pizzazz. The illustrations were vibrant and inviting, but there wasn't much in the book that set it apart. It very much reminded me of when I was a kid and they used shapes in school to teach basic geometry and mathematical concepts. Although this book tried to make shapes whimsical, identifying what shapes could look like, as if they were Rorschach clouds, it felt like too much for the age group that this is geared towards. And maybe this is a bit petty, but the children in this book look a little creepy.