cover image Circle


Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen. Candlewick, $15.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9608-5

Square and Triangle have had their turns. Now, in the final volume of Barnett and Klassen’s shapes trilogy, Circle’s the hero. She suggests a game of hide-and-seek and warns Square and Triangle not to hide behind her waterfall, a bright new addition to Klassen’s landscape of burnished textures. Sneaky Triangle, of course, heads behind the waterfall anyway, and Circle journeys deep into its inky recesses to retrieve the shape. It’s so dark that she disappears into the black, her white eyes all that remains on the page. Out of the darkness stares another set of eyes. But they’re not Triangle’s, and the entity behind them doesn’t speak; Circle and Triangle bolt. In the daylight again, Circle reconsiders, wondering if the shape might have been good. “What kind of shape was it?” she reflects. Barnett ends with a question for readers: “If you close your eyes, what shape do you picture?” Something that seems scary at first, Barnett suggests, might turn out to be just another shape to get to know. Circle’s story offers a moment of genuine fright; watching Circle consider other possibilities reminds readers that calm analysis can master fear. Ages 5–9. [em](Mar.) [/em]