cover image Round


Joyce Sidman, illus. by Taeeun Yoo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-38761-4

Having celebrated spiral shapes found in nature in Swirl by Swirl, Sidman offers a lovely contemplation of all things circular as Yoo (Strictly No Elephants) follows a child and her father through fields, to the shore, and beyond while they investigate the outside world. Writing in first person, Sidman begins with things that are innately, observably round—oranges that hang heavily from tree branches, seeds the girl scatters into a hole, a turtle’s nest of eggs. From there, she explains that some circular things “swell into roundness” (a cluster of red-capped mushrooms), are wondrously ephemeral (ripples, bubbles), or acquire their form over years, if not centuries. “Some are a different shape/ to begin with,/ but slowly, over time,/ all the sharp edges wear off,” she writes, while Yoo shows father and daughter paddling past weathered rocks in a small boat. Yoo’s mixed-media scenes feature bold, saturated colors and crayonlike textures, and they always highlight the girl’s curiosity. Closing notes offer additional fascinating insight into what makes round shapes so remarkable. A round of applause for this one. Ages 4–7. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)