Sunday, February 26, 2012

Perfect Square

Hall, Michael. 2011. PERFECT SQUARE. New York: Greenwillow. ISBN 9780061915130 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK–2]

Michael Hall’s use of vivid colors draws the readers in and takes them on an out-of-the-box adventure with a perfect square. It all begins with a perfectly happy square. Each day the square takes what might be considered a bad situation and turns it into something beautiful. “On Wednesday, the square was shredded in strips. So it made itself into a park.” Readers are taken on a weeklong journey of endless possibilities that a perfect square and an imagination can bring. When the week ends, the square waits to see what will happen next, but nothing happens. The square feels “confined, rigid and cramped,” so it makes itself a window. This simple, yet inspiring book teaches readers not to sit around and wait for others to do something for you. You are in charge of your own destiny.
The author could have used simple vocabulary, but instead chose action words that will lead to discussions and a chance for even the youngest of readers to build their vocabulary. Vivid colors reminiscent of Eric Carle’s artwork fill each square page. Colors, shapes, days of the week and a word study of predicates are all wrapped up in this nice little square package.

Children can take a colored square and scissors then change the square into something else. Or they can pretend they are the square and act out the action words from the story. Introduce children to tangram puzzles. Invite children to move the tiles around to create a picture.

Other books for children with art concepts:
Hall, Michael. MY HEART IS LIKE A ZOO. ISBN 9780061915109
Saltzberg, Barney. BEAUTIFUL OOPS! ISBN 9780761157281

By Jane Jergensen

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