CIRCLE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen: Completing the Shapes Trilogy

Circle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

When this author duo gets together, the results are magical.  We have enjoyed the first two books in their Shapes series, Triangle, and Square, and have been eagerly awaiting the publication of Circle.  In the book dedicated to Triangle, there is some trickster humor going on between the two friends, Triangle and Square.  Then, in Square, we are introduced to the third amigo, Circle.  The final book, devoted to her, brings the three friends together in an adventure.  Practical Circle has some rules for her explorations.  But what happens when she has to break those rules to save her friend Triangle? The illustrations are genius; how does Klassen show so much emotion and wit with such a limited palette and simple shapes?  The sly humor is evident, though not quite as much as in the first two books.  But the philosophical musing is amped up a bit, I thought.  The ambiguous ending is growing on me, especially since I have been sharing the book with young friends who use their imaginations to talk about what scary thing–shape?–is in the cave.  At first reading, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I have come to.  My recommendation is to share with your friends, students, and family and see what discussions grow out of it.  The intended audience seemed to catch on to the magic before I did!

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