We Are Shapes
Melinda Beck’s board book is bright, colourful and very inviting for younger readers. Simply and clearly, it introduces basic shapes such as a square, rectangle, triangle and circle and their properties (the triangle has three sides and is very pointy). It also gives the similarities and differences for the shapes (the rectangle and square have four sides and the circle has no sides). The illustrations make it a joy as the children see how shapes can be used to form pictures together.
However, this is a book that young readers can engage with on a deeper level. Very cleverly it has taken the familiar concept of shapes for young children and uses them as the main characters with the characteristics of problem-solving, resilience and the ability to work as a team. It does this by having the shapes narrate their journey as they overcome different obstacles while learning to work together. It highlights that it is each shape’s difference that makes them unique and that these differences are a positive.
It finishes with a very important message, that different shapes, or people, can come together to create a home if we are resilient and accept each other. A most important message, particularly in these troubled times, this book is a perfect way of discussing it with young children.