Archive for August 2nd, 2011

August 2, 2011

A perfect outing, perfect illustrations, and A PERFECT SQUARE

The only thing my son likes more than finding books at the library is typing on the library computer. So after every storytime, we head to the catalog computer and he decides on a word to type as the keyword for his search. I spell it out and he searches for each letter. Recent searches have included “baseball”, “train”, “dragon”, “fairy tales”, and “mermaid”.  We write down the call numbers and end up taking home a pile of theme-related books.

But undoubtedly while searching for our books, other books catch my son’s eye and he takes them off the shelf. Books with a dinosaur or dragon on the cover. Books that are pink. Books that are sparkly. Books with a baseball on them or in them. Books that are in front of his face when he gets another book. Pretty much anything will grab his eye and he will eagerly want to take it home.

There’s a lot that is good about this, but one decided downfall which is that some of the books are awful. I mean, really bad.

And so here’s what I usually do. Surreptitiously, lest my 3yo find out I’m sneaking books into his book pile, I grab (mostly at random) books that the librarians have displayed on top of the shelves, or on their display shelves, either new books or books they particularly like. I always trust the librarians and they are always right.

They were definitely right about this one.

Title: Perfect Square
Author/Illustrator: Michael Hall
Genre: Picture Book
Ages: 0 – 7

Summary and Review:

This is a wonderful book with a simple, short, and fun prose and absolutely gorgeous pictures!  It’s the story of a square who gets ripped, torn, and cut, and in doing so, forms itself into a myriad beautiful designs, a different one each day.  It teaches your child about shapes, art, beauty, and the importance of not being confined into a box.  Literally.

Follow-up with your kids:

This is a great one for craft time.  It will be really easy for you to get some paper of different colors and cut the paper into perfect squares.  Then ask your children to rip or cut the squares into smaller shapes and make a picture out of their cuttings. You could certainly copy the ones in the book, and if your child needs a lot of structure that would be a good place to start. But encourage them to make their own; making your own shapes and celebrating your individuality is part of the lesson in the book, anyway!