Tag Archives: geometric concepts

Book Review: Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe

25 Sep

Today’s book review is for Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe, by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro, published by Annick Press Ltd. I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe is a companion book to Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots, which I reviewed last week. This book uses the same sort of rhyming text and colorful stock images to convey its ideas.

I’m sure that the colorful stock images will appeal to children. They a brightly colored and crisp. Many feature young children engaged in play. The book design, however, doesn’t seem as professional as its sister volume. There’s not much variety in the page layouts and the amateur blurring effect is used more liberally. And once again, we’ve got playful, but generic, text.

Worst of all, the concept for this book was a bit muddled to me. For most of the book, it seems that we are exploring squares. I was puzzled, because the title suggested that we would be exploring stripes–but then, just before the end, we got to the stripes. At this point, I wasn’t entirely clear about why squares and stripes were thematically similar. I mean, squares are composed of lines, just as stripes are… but so are triangles, hexagons, rectangles, diamonds, octagons and more.

Unfortunately, Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe earns 1 out of 5 stars. Above all, a concept book should illustrate a clearly identifiable concept. All other aspects aside, this book fails to meet even that most basic criteria. I’m sure the authors had an idea of what they were trying to accomplish, but it didn’t come through in their work.

You can find more information about this book, including other reviews, at Goodreads.

Book Review: Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots

18 Sep

Today’s book review is for Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots, by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro, published by Annick Press Ltd. I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots is a concept book that explores the idea of roundness. Through rhyming text and colorful stock images it introduces children to simple geometrical ideas and shows that although circles, cylinders, and spheres are different–they share the property of roundness.

The rhyming text written by the Shapiros is fairly straightforward. It has a playful quality to it and does a fair job of explaining the concepts to children. Overall, though, it has a rather generic feel to it. There’s nothing that stands out to me as noteworthy, in the positive or negative. The writing feels merely middling.

Rather than commissioning an artist to illustrate the book, the authors elected to instead use stock photographs to compliment their text. The images which were selected are brightly colored, clear and crisp.

The font selection for the book is excellent and fits well with the images. It, too, is clear and crisp. The layout of the pages is fun, using alternating designs to keep the eye from growing bored. However, sometimes when an image doesn’t fill a page, the edges of the photo are blurred, which makes things look a little amateur. The blurring effect doesn’t seem to fit with the other elements of the book which are all so crisp and bold.

This book earns 3 out of 5 stars from me. I like it okay. It does a fair job of tackling the concept of roundness. But overall, it felt a little bland to me. In a couple of weeks I’m not sure that I’ll remember it at all. If my daughter saw it at the library and wanted to bring it home, I wouldn’t object–but it’s not something I’d try to steer her toward.

You can find more information about this book, including other reviews at Goodreads.