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Colors versus Shapes: Mike Boldt

Book: Colors versus Shapes
Author: Mike Boldt
Pages: 40
Age Range: 3-7

Colors versus Shapes is a companion to Mike Bolt's earlier picture book 123 versus ABC, and follows a similar storyline. In Colors versus Shapes, the colors and the shapes are each auditioning on stage to have the book be about them. The colors are basically irregular brightly-colored blobs, with faces, arms, and legs. Like less regular M&Ms. The shapes are white three-dimensional shapes, also with faces, arms, and legs (and white-gloved hands).

The colors think that they should be the stars because of the neat ways that they can combine and make new colors, and because of the sheer range of colors that can be created. The shapes also demonstrate the ways that they can combine, with two triangles merging into a square, and venture into the advanced world of irregular polygons. When an accidental encounter leads to a boldly colored, crisp-lined shape, however, the colors and shapes quickly realize the broad reach that they can have if they combine forces. 

This is actually a more logical conclusion than the one in the first book - shapeless colors and colorless shapes are each clearly lacking something. The fact that they would be better off together is clear (at least to the adult reader) from the first page. But this doesn't make the book any less fun. The shapes shoot themselves out of a cannon. The colors high-dive into one another for blending. The whole thing is a crisply rendered, smiling-faced circus.

Sure, there are incidental learnings for kids about what the different shapes are, which are the primary and secondary colors, and how the colors combine. But I think the real appeal for young readers will be Boldt's joyous illustrations. Colors versus Shapes is a book sure to leave kids wanting to pick up their crayones, markers or paints, and start combining colors and shapes for themselves. Recommended, especially for preschool and pre-K ages. 

Publisher: HarperCollins (@HarperChildrens
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon and iBooks affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).