Saturday, June 9, 2012

Round Is A Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin

Round Is A Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin

Rating: 3 stars

I couldn't pass up a book that was not just about shapes but also about China.  As an always-student of Asia--especially Southeast Asia--I'm interested myself and eager to open up that part of the world to my kids.  Thankfully diversity exists where we live, and Lorelei had two Chinese students and one Indian student in her class this past year.  So she likes to read about their cultures and explore it.  We're not ready to jump on a plane and head into Asia, so...books it is.

"Rectangles are inking stones /
Paintbrush racks and mobile phones"
In staying with the shape theme, we picked this book up and I like it.  It's another to add to the mix of getting my kids to look around them and notice the shapes of things.  There are just basic shapes in here--no parallelograms or hexagons.  And the things that take shape on the pages are all interesting, question-provoking things: rice bowl, cups of jasmine tea, name chops, tofu, radish cakes, dim sum, inking stones, money envelopes to name a few.

The rhyme is just okay for me--it's not exactly the selling point of the book.  The caption under the picture is a good example of this.  It's fine, but the inclusion of modern cell phones right alongside traditional inking stones seems odd to me.  Grace Lin's pictures adequately illustrates the words and shapes (we have seen some of Grace Lin's artwork before and I like it elsewhere more than here).  The best part of the book for me is definitely the connection to China and therefore Asia. Now I'm in the mood for some noodles...

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