City Shapes
City Shapes

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Annotation: A young girl walks through the bustling city, while a pigeon flies above, both spotting hidden shapes at every turn.
Catalog Number: #144869
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Collier, Bryan,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-37092-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-98551-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-37092-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-98551-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015000410
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this homage to city life and the powers of observation, a young African American girl tours her neighborhood, noting the shapes she encounters, while a soaring pigeon examines the same area from an aerial perspective. Murray's rhyming couplets introduce squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, ovals, diamonds, and stars, finding examples in packages, skyscrapers, flags, wheels, drum heads, kites, and twinkling lights. Collier's sumptuous watercolor and collage illustrations depict New York City from multiple vantage points and perspectives in photorealistic close-ups of street vendors and their wares, abstract scenes emphasizing particular shapes, aerial and cutaway views representing multiple levels, and kaleidoscopic scenes that merge near and far. Some of the shapes jump out from the page, while others will require some searching. The rhyming text makes this suitable for story hours, but searching for the less obvious shapes will intrigue one-on-one viewers, as well. Pair with Kelly Bingham's Circle, Square, Moose (2014) or Joyce Hesselberth's Shape Shift (2016), additional shapely tales.
Horn Book
This engaging volume, vibrantly illustrated by Collier in watercolor and collage, encourages children to identify the various shapes of a city. A young African American girl is the guide, and her obvious joy in her city is contagious. Murray's rhyming couplets scan well, making the rhythm easy to follow. Teachers seeking books for their math unit on shapes need look no further.
Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Murray-s upbeat verses about finding shapes in the city get an extra shot of energy from Caldecott Honoree Collier-s (Trombone Shorty) artwork. On the jacket, he paints a girl with brown skin and hair bound up in a ribbon, who looks at readers through a kaleidoscope. -The city is bursting with shapes of each kind./ And if you look closely, who knows what you-ll find!- writes Murray as the book begins. Collier-s watercolor-and-collage spreads are filled with incident: pedestrians stride by, flags wave, bubbles float, and taxis speed through intersections, with squares, rectangles, and other shapes sometimes highlighted in filmy white. (A minor quibble: the shapes aren-t always clearly matched to text, as when a scarf in the section about rectangles is folded like a triangle, or a rectangular subway-car window is pictured with verse about squares.) Collier doesn-t just create the girl who does the shape finding; he gives readers a chance to get to know her. As she peers out a window with her kaleidoscope, she almost seems close enough to touch. Ages 3-6. Author-s agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. Illustrator-s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (June)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2 Readers are encouraged to view the city as a kaleidoscope of shape and color in this rhyming tour provided by a young girl on the sidewalk and a pigeon soaring above. Elements of urban life, including a mail truck, a pretzel cart, skyscrapers, park benches, street vendors, taxis, the subway, and a street performer, also reveal seven basic shapes. "And nearby, the kites seem to dance in the sky./Some SHAPES in the city are/DIAMONDS that fly." Youngsters will eagerly identify squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, ovals, diamonds, and stars in the busy spreads as well as complete each rhyme to reveal the targeted shape. As night and stars appear in the sky, "the pigeon flies back through the night cityscape/as city lights sparkle, SHAPE after SHAPE./But her heart starts to ache for the SHAPE/she loves best./The SHAPE that is home/her warm CIRCLE nest." Collier's rich watercolor and collage spreads feature a child (his four-year-old daughter) as tour guide, smiling and waving us along. The endpapers offer a 3-D geometric world of colorful buildings. Children will enjoy studying the illustrations to identify the various shapes as well as the scattered collage photos of greenery, people, buildings, and cars. VERDICT A colorful look at city life as well as a fun way to teach shapes to young children. Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Rhyming text and brilliant multimedia collage combine to follow a girl's journey through her beloved city.Part concept book, part love letter to urban beauty, Murray and Collier's collaboration highlights an African-American girl's observations about the many shapes she sees in and around her city. In his illustrator's note, Collier tells readers that he modeled the little girl on his own daughter, and Murray's author's note shares that she was inspired to write her rhyming verse by her many walks around New York City. The text's pattern first highlights many different items that share a given shape and then names that shape before moving on to another list. A postal truck, a pretzel cart, "and stacks of brown packages hauled up the stairs" are all squares, for instance. Collier fills every page, allowing art to take up entire double-page spreads, and his distinctive collage technique is particularly well-suited to highlighting the shapes named by the text. He also pushes well beyond merely visually reiterating the items the text lists, and the result is a seamless interdependence of art and text that will allow readers to find the named items while also providing ample visual interest to reward poring over the illustrations.A visual feast of cityscape shapes. (Picture book. 3-6)
Word Count: 324
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 182644 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD930L

Hunt for shapes of all kinds on this journey through a bustling city, illustrated by four-time Caldecott Honoree Bryan Collier!

From shimmering skyscrapers to fluttering kites to twinkling stars high in the sky, everyday scenes become extraordinary as a young girl walks through her neighborhood noticing exciting new shapes at every turn. Far more than a simple concept book, City Shapes is an explosion of life. Diana Murray's richly crafted yet playful verse encourages readers to discover shapes in the most surprising places, and Bryan Collier's dynamic collages add even more layers to each scene in this ode to city living.

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