PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: You are Light/Circle


With a wondrously simple die-cut book, the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of the Journey trilogy brings his talents further into the light.

This is the light that brings the day.

Open this beautiful book to find a graphic yellow sun surrounded by a halo of bright die-cut circles. Now hold the page up to the light and enjoy the transformation as the colors in those circles glow. In an elegant, sparely narrated ode to the phenomenon of light, Aaron Becker follows as light reflects off the earth to warm our faces, draws up the sea to make the rain, feeds all the things that grow, and helps to create all the brilliant wonders of the world, including ourselves.


This rather unusual picture is all about the power of light and it´s connection to life.  The beauty of the simple text highlights the way sunlight brings dawn, which touches water, which rains and ´waters the wheat'and ´feeds the leaves´.  Eventually the light touches you and me connecting all living things.  What makes the book extra special is the use of die-cuts and colored plastic to highlight the various colors that the light brings to life.  The book needs to be held up to the light to be fully appreciated, but it´s worth the effort.  A deceptively simple, yet gorgeous reminder of the power of light to bring life.


Multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen deliver the final wry and resonant tale about Triangle, Square, and Circle.

This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle's friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy.


Like most Mac Barnett books, Circle,  has an unusual twist at the end, leaving the reader to come to his or her own conclusions.  As Circle, Triangle, and Square get ready to play hide-and-seek, Circle reminds the others not to hide behind the waterfall because it´s dark.  When Circle opens her eyes, Square tells her that Triangle went behind the waterfall.  Circle sets out to find her friend.  It does indeed prove to be a bit scary and Circle´s irritation shines through when she finds Triangle, or at least seems to do so.  But as with most Barnett books, things are not as they seem, and the reader is not provided with all the answers, leaving the reader to come to his/her own conclusions.  This makes the book a remarkable personal one as each reader will come away from the book with his or her own opinion.  It also makes it a great book to use in teaching as it provides students with a chance to infer and speculate and participate in the story.  A fitting ending to an intriguing new way to learn about shapes.


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