When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins

( 1 )

Overview

In this concept book, rhymed text describes how ten different shapes are made from simple lines—including a circle, square, triangle, diamond, and heart. Some of the verses appear on the page in the shape they describe.

Rhymed text describes how shapes are made from simple lines. Some of the verses appear on the page in the shape they describe.

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When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins

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Overview

In this concept book, rhymed text describes how ten different shapes are made from simple lines—including a circle, square, triangle, diamond, and heart. Some of the verses appear on the page in the shape they describe.

Rhymed text describes how shapes are made from simple lines. Some of the verses appear on the page in the shape they describe.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"In this clever and fun introduction to assorted shapes, Greene and Kaczman collaborate effectively, clearly expounding an oval, square or octagon through bouncy rhyme, familiar examples and clean-edged artwork," wrote PW. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this well-conceived, bouncy and colorful primer, Greene (Barnyard Song) builds up various geometric figures from a line, the simplest element of every shape: "A line is thin. A line is narrow/ curved like a worm, straight as an arrow." Each spread acquaints readers with a single shape, from a square to a triangle to a circle. Beyond the basics, there are ovals ("An oval's like a circle, except it's not as stout. Two sides go in to make it thin. Two other sides go out"), diamonds ("A ballerina's legs form one when bending at the knees") and crescents ("It is a smile when curving up, when down it is a frown"). The introductions stop, appropriately, with a red octagon ("you see it at the corner. It tells the cars to wait"). Like concrete poetry, each verse takes on the shape it describes. Kaczman, in a remarkable picture book debut, incorporates images with sharp angles and smooth curves in full-bleed double-page spreads that orchestrate all of the elements of Greene's text. His precise renderings, evenly filled ink blocks and animal characters suggest J.otto Seibold's computer-generated geometric forms; however, his watercolors are slightly mottled, creating a grainy texture. In this clever and fun introduction to the assorted shapes, Greene and Kaczman collaborate effectively, clearly expounding an oval, square or octagon through bouncy rhyme, familiar examples and clean-edged artwork. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
"Yes, a line is fine, but when a line swerves, when a line bends, watch what can happen... a shape begins!" In this book, author/poet, Greene, bends an ordinary line into all sorts of different shapes in a lively, up beat verse. Readers can hunt through the illustrations to find circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and other shapes hidden in the pictures. The illustrations are stylized and geometric, art deco influenced with a modern twist. Kaczman's strong black lines with warm, delicious colors are perfect for this book about shapes.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Ten shapes are presented in picture and verse. Along with the familiar circle, square, triangle, diamond, rectangle, octagon, and oval are the less frequent star, heart, and crescent. Each shape has its own verse and double-page spread packed with visual examples. There are even some extras for observant children to discover. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations are bold and clean, with ample color; however, a texturing technique occasionally results in a slightly murky appearance. At no time does this texturing obscure the text or interfere with line or shape. Those tired of bright primary colors in children's books may find the muting a nice change. A fine addition to units on shapes and a perky read-aloud.Jody McCoy, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Cataloging several examples for each of ten regular shapes, Greene develops in an ever-changing rhyme scheme the premise that all shapes are made from bent lines. It's an eye-opening insight for readers, but confusing when blocks are considered square, a bubble, marble, and "curled kitten" are included in the list of circles, and "star" is defined as "the shape of a fish." Readers may also falter at the triangle spread, since the three blocks of text are placed so that it's hard to tell in what order they're to be read; the "tent built just for you" has a triangular opening, but what children will notice is the diamond- shaped side. Kaczman's picture-book debut features a set of stylized, evenly colored, very simply drawn scenes, sometimes viewed from playfully skewed angles or featuring sight gags—a police officer chowing down on a doughnut, a kilted man playing hopscotch. Still, an instructional intent hangs heavy over this, and the examples are not always on target; a better book on the topic is Dayle Ann Dodds's The Shape of Things
From the Publisher
"In this well-conceived, bouncy and colorful primer, Greene builds up various geometric shapes from a line. . . . A clever and fun introduction to the assorted shapes." Publishers Weekly, Starred
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756908188
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/15/1997
  • Sales rank: 389,808
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

James Kaczman received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art in 1982 and also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He lives in a beautiful, green valley somewhere in the North, where he is a full-time illustrator. He resides there with his wife, Libby, his son, Henry, and a wire fox terrier named Chauncey, who is a funny, charming fellow.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2002

    The rhymes bounce!

    Both my daughters love this book, and it's one I don't mind reading over and over. Good rhymes in kids' books are so hard to come by! And we like how the pictures are in the shape of the shapes. A good gift choice for pre-schoolers.

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