Circle Under Berry

Chronicle. Sept. 2021. 52p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781797205083.
PreS-K–This artful concept book for toddlers and early preschoolers delves into shape, color, pattern, and vocabulary, all set within the context of spatial reasoning. Each spread features a series of vibrant shapes hand-painted and digitally collaged on a white background—a technique that feels reminiscent of the signature illustrative style of Eric Carle. With its rapid-fire introduction of abstract concepts—“Yellow under diamond/ diamond over green/ yellow over diamond/ under guppy/ over green”— the aims of this work are lofty and largely miss the pedagogical mark. Its vague patterning may be too subtle for even the most precocious preschoolers. Combined with arbitrary pairings, e.g., “octagon this/ rectangle that/ emerald left/ goldenrod right,” and an unusual vocabulary, this elevated attempt at concept exploration is confusing.
VERDICT Despite vibrant art, this book lacks a focus on one or two concepts to build spatial recognition with obvious patterns. Not recommended.

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