Dr. Seuss's The Shape of Me (and Other Stuff)
Children's book review by Steve Barancik
Seuss in Silhouette
Squares? Circles? Yawn. Give me some real shapes. Like...
the shape of camels,
the shape of bees
the wonderful shapes of back door keys!
In The Shape of Me, Seuss proves his art is just as expressive in outline form. A boy and a girl take turns marveling at some rather wondrous and detailed shapes.
No shapes are ever quite alike.
Smarter people than I point out that shape recognition is a big part of reading; after all, letters are shapes! So this book - part of Seuss's Bright and Early series - while being a whole heck of a lot of fun, is also developing the skills necessary for letter recognition.
About half the images are named in the text, while the other half aren't. So with pre-readers, your job - in addition to reading the text - will be to say, "What's that?" a whole lot.
As with Seuss's other Bright and Early books, there's no story to speak of. What's there is more about stimulating a back and forth between child and adult.
A: What's that?
C: A circle?
A: Well, it's not perfectly round like a circle. And it's coming out of her mouth. What else could it be?
A: Starts with a B sound...
You get the idea. (Shape of Me is also a great starting point for art projects.)
Finally, the book finishes with a nice self-image/body-image moment, as the boy and girl smile in silhouette:
Of all the shapes we MIGHT have been...
I say, "HOORAY for the shapes we're in!"
Cut out some time for The Shape of Me (and Other Stuff).
More Seuss books.
Read more of Steve's reviews.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.