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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Square, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Candlewick Press, Penguin Random House. 2018. $21.99 ages 4 and up

"Circle," said Square, "I
think I should tell you

But she was already gone.
"Oh dear dear dear," said
He studied the block.
"I have to make this block
look like Circle," he said.
"Circle is perfect. So I
must make this perfect."

Square first appeared in Triangle, the opening book in this wonderful series. Then, Square was the butt of a joke played by Triangle. Is that true? Readers were left to make their own decision concerning Triangle's explanation.

In this sequel, Square has the honor of being the 'star of the show'. Well-deserved, I would say! Square lives in secret underground cave, where square blocks are found in abundance. Each day he emerges with one block and adds it to an ever-growing pile at the top of a hill. It is his work.

A visit from a very complimentary Circle sets him on a new path. Admiring his expertise, Circle commissions Square to do a sculpture of her. It is a worry for Square that he has agreed since he has no observable artistic ability. Working hard to please his friend and failing miserably, Square is disconsolate.

"What have I done?
I push blocks.
I do not shape them.
I am not a genius."

When Circle sees what Square has done, she is joyous and even more certain of his creative genius. Once again, readers will have to decide for themselves what they think.

What a pair of brilliant artists! Mac Barnett's short sentences, work-laden plot, and perfect pacing, accompanied by Jon Klassen's signature watercolor and graphite artwork which uses the 'eyes' once again to give life to the simply shaped characters and to the arc of this terrific new tale.

Circle is next! Bring it on!

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