Starring Shapes written and illustrated by Tania Howells

Starring Shapes by Canadian author and illustrator Tania Howells, features personified shapes representing various every day items in comic form (with faces) such as a stamp, a yield sign, the moon, a kite, a calculator.

The shapes go to Shapeston Elementary School with the children and have the opportunity to try out for the school play. Each shape tells a little bit of past performances, such as triangle who once portrayed a nacho chip on a billboard and a flag on a bicycle or square who is a natural at origami and quilting. Circle’s favorite past time is pretending to be a Nursery Rhyme moon and Rectangle enjoys being a trampoline. Rhombus, nicknamed Diamond, yearns to be a baseball field. Well rounded Oval loves stretching out before a fire as a rug for story time. Everyone who auditions gets a part including the shapes who are used to enhance the Gingerbread House for the play Hansel and Gretel. A plus are the pages which display ways in which each shape is found in real life situations.

The illustrations, although simplistic, child-like, cartoonish drawings (rendered in Photoshop) featuring the basic color spectrum, are bright and appealing. By having the six shapes interact with the school aged children they take on pleasant personalities. With detailed backgrounds full of geometric scenery, there are lots of shapes to identify. Perfect for preschoolers and perhaps early elementary students, although an adult reading the story to younger kids might have to simplify the language or just focus on locating the various shapes included throughout the book. Three stars.

This ARC was provided by Netgalley and Kids Can Press in exchange for an honest review.

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