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Sidman, Joyce. Round. Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. 32 pages (978–0–544–38761–4)

Ages 3-6

“I love round things,” says the young child narrator of this picture book, who goes on to give examples of round things found in nature, from the obvious (oranges, seeds) to the harder-to-find (rings on a tree stump, small butterfly eggs). Some things that don’t start out round become round with time (a mushroom grows into its curves; once-jagged rocks smooth over many years). Round can be ephemeral (bubbles, ripples in a pond) or forever (the moon and stars). “I can be round, too,” the girl says, “in a circle of friends” or curled up alone. Intimate yet expansive, the simply stated observations are childlike even as they suggest a deep, visceral human response to roundness: the desire to touch, the feeling of being secure. Brief examples at story’s end reference both science and aesthetics in discussing why so many things in nature are round. Ample curves in the flat, naïve-style illustrations featuring bright colors with a muted, slightly retro feel complement the quiet narrative.  ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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