Square by Mac Barnett | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –In their sequel to Triangle, the Barnett/Klassen dynamic duo follows the previously introduced character of Square.

redstarBARNETT, Mac. Square. illus. by Jon Klassen. 48p. Candlewick. May 2018. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763696078.

PreS-Gr 2 –In their sequel to Triangle, the Barnett/Klassen dynamic duo follows the previously introduced character of Square. Every day Square pushes one square block from his cave to the top of a hill, adding to a pile of square rocks. “This is his work.” One day, Circle floats by, and to Square’s bewilderment, sees these square blocks as amazing sculptures—Square is a genius at self-portraits! She requests that he create a sculpture for her. Klassen’s minimalist watercolor and graphite illustrations are effective in creating a space for the character’s expressive eyes to stand out which enhances the book’s underlying humor and sense of irony. Short sentences, a gripping plot, and great page turns make this both an excellent read-aloud and an approachable title for beginning readers. This book takes a sweeter turn from its prankish predecessor in that Square works hard to create something for Circle, only to feel like he failed; but when Circle sees what he created, she is “beguiled” once more by his genius. Though this title will stand alone, children familiar with Triangle might recognize the extra layer of humor at the end when an unnamed narrator poses a game-changer of a question. VERDICT A must purchase that will satisfy old fans and create new ones.–Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2018 issue.

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