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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Round, written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Raincoast. 2017. $24.99 ages 2 and up

"Some swell
into roundness:

      toward the sun.

Some are
a different shape
to begin with ... "

I am sorry that there was a glitch in my attempts to schedule the previous two posts. I think that is fixed now, and you should be receiving three posts today, despite my best efforts for that not to happen. On we go!

In this ode to the round shape, we learn why the author is so deeply attached to it. The poetic, clear
language is perfect for helping young readers understand the concept of roundness and invites them to think clearly and carefully about why they might feel the same as the narrator does.

The softness of the shape is captured beautifully by both author and illustrator. Expressive wording and peaceful scenes provide much to admire about this new picture book which is framed in love for the natural world. We are invited to explore all the child finds as we move from page to page. Child and parent spend an entire in nature's beauty as they explore together from morning to night.

The final three spreads are just lovely - one is a circle of friends lying on the ground beneath autumn leaves, holding hands, while the second shows the little girl who has been our guide, snuggled under a warm blanket and surrounded by her pets and books. The final is a warm hug - the best example of a perfect circle you can get. What better places are there to be?

Backmatter is found on two pages meant to help readers understand why we find so many round things in nature. Just one of the reasons is:

"Round is balanced. Spheres hold the most volume with the least amount of surface area. Thus, bubbles and water droplets naturally form spheres as their surface tension contains the force of the air or water inside them. Planets are round because gravity pulls equally from the planet's central core to every point on its outer surface."

There you have some of  the science!  

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