Monday, June 8

Have You Seen My Monster?

Have You Seen My Monster
Written and illustrated by Steve Light

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0763675134
Publisher: Candlewick
Date of publication: April 7, 2015
Age: 2 - 6
Genre: Educational

Themes: shapes, searching, fairs, color

A little girl gallivants through a county fair, searching for her furry, monstrous friend. Perhaps he is under the quatrefoil banner on stage or riding the octagonal carousel. She searches from the fun house to the Ferris wheel. Maybe the monster is judging the pies (on rhombus-decorated tables)? Or perhaps he’s at the monster-truck rally (with parallelogram-ed trucks)?

This is Steve Light's second book, his first being one that I liked for the Caldecott last year. But the illustrations for this one? I was disappointed. So the purpose of this book is to educate a child on the different shapes (twenty different ones!) one can find. But, the shapes were not worked into the illustrations in a satisfactory way. Like, I wanted the shape to really be part of the larger picture, not seemingly added as an afterthought--which some of them look like they were. So Light has an odd mix of well-integrated shapes and odd, out-of-place additions. I'm not a fan.

The educational aspect, however, is pretty impressive. I mean, when you're talking about twenty different shapes, you've got to really scrape the bottom of the barrel. He's teaching kids about shapes like quatrefoils, trapeziums (and trapezoids--they're different), curvilinear triangles, and all the other polygons. In addition to your standard square, circle, and rectangle. It's impressive, it really is. So maybe you can pick it up if you want to brush up on your geometry. Or you can pass this by. Up to you.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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