Reviews for Round Is a Tortilla : A Book of Shapes

Booklist Reviews 2013 April #2
If kids look closely, they'll see that the simple delights of the world are fashioned by shapes. In Thong's (Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes, 2000) newest concept book, lyrical and playful text, peppered with Spanish words, invites readers to see, count, and find the objects that shape our world. What objects are round? "Round are campanas / that chime and ring. / Round are the nests / where swallows sing." Slices of sweet sandĂ­a (watermelon) chilled on ice are triangular, ventanas (windows) are square, and huevos (eggs) are oval. Thong's inviting, rhyming text is delightfully animated by Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book Award winner Parra (Waiting for the Biblioburro, 2012), who paints a vivid setting inspired by a rich Latino folk palette. With each turn of the page, kids will enjoy finding and counting the shapes in Parra's stunning visual interpretations of Latino families, communities, and fiestas. A glossary of Spanish terms concludes. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
"Round are campanas / that chime and ring. / Round are nests / where swallows sing." This rhyming text features occasional Spanish words as it celebrates Latino culture and shapes found in everyday life. Parra's warm folk-art-like illustrations feature children and families cooking, playing, and partying. The images invite repeat viewing to find the different shapes within. A glossary of Spanish words is appended.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #1
This charming concept book will engage readers and help them recognize shapes in everyday objects. Beautiful rose-colored endpapers draped with a festive, lacy banner lead readers into a book that is a celebration of both shapes and Hispanic culture. Thong uses simple rhymes ("Rectangles are carts / with bells that chime / and cold paletas / in summertime") to introduce shapes and Spanish words whose meanings—if not apparent from the illustrations—can be derived from the glossary. Parra's vibrant colors and geometric, folksy art help readers recognize shapes in both the book and the world around them. Intricate spreads offer an abundance of details observant readers will appreciate. The art and text generally complement each other, though some spreads may require an additional bit of work to understand (tacos are used as examples of a round shape, while being properly depicted as folded tortillas filled with deliciousness; the metates are said to be in the casa but are shown in the backyard). Bird's-eye views depict a lovely diversity of skin color, but close-up portraiture is less strikingly differentiated. Nevertheless, this book will teach readers about more than basic shapes thanks to both its use of Spanish words and the inclusion of Hispanic cultural elements. (glossary) (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #4

A girl discovers that shapes are everywhere in this companion to Round Is a Mooncake. Spanish vocabulary words are sprinkled throughout rhyming, reader-directed verse: "Stone metates inside our casa/ help us grind our corn to masa./ Rectangles are flags that fly/ above the scoreboard, way up high./ How many rectangles do you spy?" Parra's thick paintings have a rough, weathered wood-grain texture, and his figures--with their serene facial expressions and rosy cheeks--resemble Mexican folk-art dolls. Whimsical elements like a mermaid in the bay and celestial ornaments dangling from an avocado tree add pizzazz to this poetic ode to shapes. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

PreS-Gr 2--This picture book in rhyme focuses on everyday things-a square for a park, a round pot of stew, a rectangle for the scoreboard at the baseball game. All of the shapes and activities reflect Hispanic culture-stars are for parties and the celebration depicted is a fiesta. Round is a sombrero; squares are ventanas, or windows; and triangles are for chips and guacamole. Some of the shapes appear on two spreads, some have one, but all end with the refrain: "how many more… can you find?" The realistic illustrations feature lots of people of various ages. The paintings are colorful and lend a sense of movement and joy to the activities. The Spanish words are integral to the story but will be clear from context to non-Spanish speakers. This is a lovely book for teaching and sharing shapes within a culture or for just the concepts themselves. It is also a terrific title about family, fun, and sharing.--Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City

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