Circles of Round

Signe Sturup, illus. by Winnie Ma. Simply Read (Ingram, dist.), $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-927018-18-7
This meticulously executed creation from two debut talents gets most of its impact from the lusciously colored cut-paper ribbons Ma uses to illustrate it. They’re shaped and curved with geometric precision, lit from the side to heighten their three-dimensionality, and photographed against clean white backdrops. Sturup’s story is cheery and predictable: the paper Circles live in a town called Round, where life “roll[s] merrily along” without incident until an enterprising green Triangle appears and converts the circles to angular shapes, wooing them with promises of edginess and excitement. But—naturally—life as squares and polygons causes problems for the former Circles (“Their corners made tears/ in their beds and their chairs”), and one small, determined Circle discovers how to be round again by pure force of will (“Just think out your kinks!” he says, the words formed by paper curved into cursive letters and photographed from above). Ma has a matchless sense of clean design; the story’s lesson may really lie in the achievement of having constructed a visually dynamic set of images within these rather constrained conditions. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-1-927018-90-3
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