Books & Literature

Book Review: Circle, by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

The story of three friends, Triangle, Square and Circle, and the possible consequences when we don’t follow the rules.

The third book in The Shape Series trilogy about friends and breaking rules.

Circle is the third book in The Shape Series trilogy by Mac Barnett and John Klassen, the first two being Triangle and Square. Barnett and Klassen are an award-winning writer/illustrator team. American Barnett has written numerous novels and picture books while Canadian Klassen is best known for his picture books, I Want My Hat Back, and This Is Not My Hat.  

Circle is the story of three shapes who are friends: Triangle, Square and Circle. Triangle and Square have come to play at Circle’s waterfall. They decide to play a game of Hide-and-Seek together but there are rules and Triangle doesn’t like to follow the rules. Circle is about possible consequences when we don’t follow the rules. It is also about being kind to our friends and not being afraid of the unknown.

This is a relatively simple story and the illustrations have a different colour palette to the norm. They are mostly colourless. This creates a sense of mystery and tension.

This story would be suitable for two to four-year-old children but there is not enough in either the text or illustrations to garner much discussion and questions. The final page is open-ended which would create some discussion about what could happen. Children are able to think of their own possible conclusion.

The front cover is interesting in that it does not use words in the title, just an illustration of a circle.

If you have enjoyed the first two books in this series, then you will want to read about the story of Circle.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Walker Books Australia
Released: March 2019
RRP: $24.99

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