Readers will remember Square as the victim of a sneaky trick in Triangle (2017), but here they find him peacefully at work, contentedly pushing square-shaped blocks up a hill. He's interrupted when Circle floats by and mistakes Square's rock pile for fine art. Convinced he is a genius sculptor, Circle tells him to make a sculpture of herself by the next day and drifts away before Square has time to respond. Having only just learned what a sculptor is, Square eyes a block, pulls out a hammer and chisel, and starts tentatively chipping away at it. He works into the night and through a rainstorm, until all that's left of the block are some very un-circle-like fragments, and there's nothing to be done but lie down in a puddle in defeat. But the morning reveals he might be a genius after all. Funny and lightly philosophical, Barnett's story gets an extra punch of hilarity with Klassen's minimalist graphite-and-watercolor artwork. A must for Triangle fans that will leave them wondering how this geometric drama will end.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This tireless, award-winning creative team works deadpan magic like no other, and fans will scoop up this second installment in a planned trilogy. Preschool-Grade 1. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Square, who squabbled with Triangle in the first volume of Barnett and Klassen's Shape trilogy, suffers from a case of imposter syndrome in this second picture book offering. Circle sees Square pushing stone blocks one after the other to the top of a hill among huge, ghostly boulders. She mistakes them for self-portraits—"You are a genius! I did not know you were a sculptor!"—and insists that Square must make a sculpture of her. Anxiety overwhelms him. Slashes of rain cut across the spreads as the stone disintegrates under his hammer and chisel, amid his growing despair. In the morning, his circular pile of rubble holds a pool of rainwater, which reflects Circle's image as she gazes downward. "It is perfect," Circle gushes. "You are a genius." Is Circle a good friend who sees the worth in Square's work that he can't see himself? Or is she just a flatterer? Poor Square isn't sure, and readers aren't, either. Square's efforts to please are equal parts hilarious and cringeworthy, and the moment he topples over in exhaustion is comic gold. The story's decidedly ambiguous conclusion leaves the door open for questions about what it means to be an artist—and that's the whole point. Ages 5–9. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 2—In their sequel to Triangle, the Barnett/Klassen dynamic duo follows the previously introduced character of Square. Every day Square pushes one square block from his cave to the top of a hill, adding to a pile of square rocks. "This is his work." One day, Circle floats by, and to Square's bewilderment, sees these square blocks as amazing sculptures—Square is a genius at self-portraits! She requests that he create a sculpture for her. Klassen's minimalist watercolor and graphite illustrations are effective in creating a space for the character's expressive eyes to stand out which enhances the book's underlying humor and sense of irony. Short sentences, a gripping plot, and great page turns make this both an excellent read-aloud and an approachable title for beginning readers. This book takes a sweeter turn from its prankish predecessor in that Square works hard to create something for Circle, only to feel like he failed; but when Circle sees what he created, she is "beguiled" once more by his genius. Though this title will stand alone, children familiar with Triangle might recognize the extra layer of humor at the end when an unnamed narrator poses a game-changer of a question. VERDICT A must purchase that will satisfy old fans and create new ones.—Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.
A second entry in the trilogy that began with Triangle introduces diligent Square, who spends his days moving blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground, whimsically earning the admiration of his friend, Circle. By the Caldecott Honor-winning creators of Extra Yarn.Review by Publisher Summary 2
When his friend Circle asks him to do her portrait after praising him as a sculptor and genius, Square struggles to carve her likeness from a stone block.Review by Publisher Summary 3
The beguiling second entry in the innovative shape trilogy by multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.This book is about Square. Square spends every day taking blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground. This book is also about Square's friend Circle. Circle thinks Square is an artistic genius. But is he really? With the second story in a trilogy of tales about Triangle, Square, and Circle, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen nudge readers toward a more well-rounded way of looking at things. Understated and striking in its simplicity, this funny, thoughtful offering from two of today's most talented picture-book creators emphasizes the importance of keeping your eyes ' and your mind ' open to wonder where others see only rubble and rocks.Review by Publisher Summary 4
The beguiling second entry in the innovative shape trilogy by multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.This book is about Square. Square spends every day taking blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground. This book is also about Square’s friend Circle. Circle thinks Square is an artistic genius. But is he really? With the second story in a trilogy of tales about Triangle, Square, and Circle, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen nudge readers toward a more well-rounded way of looking at things. Understated and striking in its simplicity, this funny, thoughtful offering from two of today’s most talented picture-book creators emphasizes the importance of keeping your eyes — and your mind — open to wonder where others see only rubble and rocks.