Triangle versus Square
When I sat down to write my review recommendation of this book by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (published March 2017), I started to wonder, is it even called Triangle? Triangle looks large and perhaps menacing from the front cover, but technically there is no title on the front page.
However, the book definitely is called Triangle on the spine. Why Triangle? Why not Square?
The premise of the story is simple but the outcome was not predictable for me. In fact I burst out laughing in surprise. And that's such a wonderful thing to happen while reading picture books.
We use the phrase "LOL" a lot so much so that it has started not to mean as much. But living with and raising kids has gifted me with the pleasure of true laugh-out-loud delight. I've been known to film my girls' reactions to films and television shows, especially when it is a beloved one. Never mind how delightful it was to bring Mini Me to see The Wizard of Oz musical several years back. We were sitting next to the orchestra and I hope the actors could hear her delight.
So when I read a children's book that actually takes me by surprise <gasp>, LOL, and ROTFL, I know it's a treasure.
At the heart of Triangle is a story about one friend playing a prank on another and having it backfire on him. But, are Triangle and Square friends?
This story could also be interpreted as a bully getting just rewards. Or good-natured sibling razzing and teasing.
What's really delightful (can I use this word enough in this review rec?) is thesignature Jon Klassenmuted palette and layers of collage/water color, which is reminiscent of Leo Lionni's classics Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse and Frederick, both of which are Bookworm family favorites.
There's so much to feast your eyes on in Triangle. And little ones can ponder shapes, motivation, shades, fears, friendship issues and more all at once. Picture book writing and illustration at its finest.
As a side note, I also love that the end boards of Triangle are extra thick and the binding is different than your run-of-the-mill picture book, making it a standout among standouts. Another hit collaboration between Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.
Ages: Two and up
Readability: Good pacing and suspense
Diversity side note: If you're a square peg in a <ahem> triangle-shaped world, this book is for you.
Tell Dr. Bookworm:
Are you a Triangle or a Square? What was the last book that made you truly LOL? Let me know in the comments!