The Greedy Triangle

Marilyn Burns, Author, Syd Hoff, Author, Gordon Silveria, Illustrator Scholastic Press $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-590-48991-1
The author of The I Hate Mathematics Book celebrates geometric shapes in this informative but visually cluttered addition to the Marilyn Burns Brainy Day series. Her main character, a triangle with gleaming black eyes and a perky grin, leads a full life-it can take the shape of a slice of pie or rest in an elbow's angle ``when people put their hands on hips.'' Yet the triangle aspires to greater complexity, so it asks a ``shapeshifter'' to turn it into a quadrilateral (the shape of a TV or a book's page), then into a pentagon (a house's facade) and so forth. Burns fails to show that the triangle is ``greedy''; it's just adventurous. But her story successfully introduces basic polygons, and her afterword to adults suggests ways of teaching children some of the finer points about geometry (e.g., the concept of a plane or rhomboids). For his picture book debut, Silveria chooses tart shades of yellow, orange, lavender and green. His airbrushed colored-pencil compositions have suitably angular details; speckled paint and multicolored doodles soften the effect but create a sense of disorder. If the art as a whole is somewhat jumbled, readers still come away from this volume noticing and naming the shapes of the objects around them. Ages 6-9. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-545-04220-8
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