Written by Mac Barrett and Illustrated by Jon Klassen.
(For readers in Kindergarten to Fourth Grade)
The Shape Trilogy, consisting of Triangle (2017), Square (2018), and Circle (2019), is a wonderful collaboration between writer Mac Barrett and illustrator Jon Klassen. These three shapes are friends who like to play tricks on each other. The books are loosely linear, in that they read well on their own, and build upon each other if read in order.
Triangle initiates the series where Square plays the object of Triangle’s mischief. However this mischief also has a backlash for Triangle. Shapes have their purposes and obstacles. Fun repercussive high jinks run throughout the three books.
The humor in these books is subtle and constant. It may not be laugh-out-loud funny, but children respond to the big eyes and mischievous antics of the silly shapes, giggling throughout and returning to their inky world again and again. The art work though overtly simple creates a fantastic world. Klassen’s watercolors portray the shapes with graphite and a spare presentation. The focus of the shapes is on their pupils, which move back and forth to convey action and emotion. Each shape has the same size eyes, though due to the limitations of a conical head, Triangle’s eyes sit lower on his face.
The Shape Trilogy is fun to read to your early elementary child, but also very enjoyable for adults as well! Barrett’s sense of humor goes beyond literal! You’ll enjoy reading these books with your child (and may even find yourself returning to them after they’re in bed)!