Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Square This and Square That

On September 18, 2010 I posted for the Elementary Pick of the Week, Michael Hall's book, My Heart Is Like A Zoo.  In that post I said, Hearts like love can assume many forms.  Come explore the metaphoric feelings, shapes and colors galore while wandering through the digital art of Michael Hall's animal world.  That book as is the My Heart is Like a Zoo web site are delighful, inventive and collaborative.

Perfect Square, the newest title by Hall is his previous book's equal and then some.  There is so much to love about this book.  Eye-catching and bold cover colors, book shape and size are inviting but the real hook is the white smile on the red square.  Why, readers ask, is the book smiling?

The first two pages explain that the red square of paper is perfect.  It has four equal sides and corners that are alike.  On the next two pages readers read---And it was perfectly happy.  The red square is smiling.

As readers follow the red square through the days of the week beginning with Monday it changes shape and then color through no actions of its own but those of unseen hands, initially.  Much like the quote, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, our (see how I have taken ownership in the reading of this story) red, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple, and then red again squares chooses to create objects, places or natural formations from those alterations.

It is on Sunday, finding itself red again and waiting, that the brilliant choice of the square is what binds all the weekly modifications together into a spectacular view of how parts can make a pleasing whole.

Michael Hall's book, Perfect Square, is perfect and readers will be perfectly happy reading it again and again.  I can envision it now, readers of all ages will be heading to their craft boxes, craft cupboards or piles of colored paper to let their imaginations go where they may.  For educators this, as does My Heart is Like a Zoo, offers numerous opportunities for combining writing with creative energy.  Please follow this link to the publisher's website to view interior pages in this title.  Enjoy using this Teaching Guide for several of Michael Hall's titles.

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