tr. from Dutch. illus. by Guido van Genechten. 48p. Clavis. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781605372259.
Gr 2–4—This import from the Netherlands uses only the colors red, yellow, and blue and 12 forms—four each of circles (red), triangles (yellow), and squares (blue)—to take on several big topics: what we are made of, how we are all the same but different, and what happens when we die. Van Genechten begins with only color then adds shapes to posit "perhaps all other things consist of these small shapes." The following pages depict all manner of things, plants, animals, and people made from the 12 shapes on a black background with a simple accompanying text that helpfully gives clues about the images. The somewhat abstract depictions are mostly obvious, though a few take a bit of imagination. The book concludes that "perhaps all things…turn into small shapes again when they die…perhaps those form bigger circles, triangles and squares and then those turn into pure color over and over again." The end page directs readers to a website where they can download the basic forms and upload their own creations; unfortunately the ability to do so was nowhere to be found on the English version of the site.
VERDICT A fascinating concept book that will get kids thinking. A good catalyst for discussion in classrooms as varied as science and art.

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