Square (Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, another strange and funny story from the duo that brought you Triangle.

Square is a simple shape. Each morning, he wakes up, chooses one of the cube-shaped rocks from inside his cave, and slowly but surely pushes it up the hill to a pile he’s made at the summit. This is his work. That is, until one day Circle floats by. Mistaking the naturally square-shaped rock for a sculpture, she declares Square a genius, and asks for a likeness of her own. Square tries all night to carve a sculpture of Circle, but just breaks the rock into a mess of rubble. Despondent, Square falls asleep, being awoken by Circle the next morning. He shamefully shows her his work, but she has a unexpected reaction that leaves Square even more confused.

I’ve written before about how much I love Klassen and Barnett’s work, both individually and as collaborators. Their signature dry humor combined with unique stories that often unfold in bizarre and hilarious ways always makes us smile. Klassen’s minimalist art style of simple characters against rich backgrounds, impeccable use of white space, and using eyes and body language to convey emotion is always a treat, and JJ is always enthralled by it. This one has a sort of odd, existential ending that may not satisfy every little bookworm, but will do for plenty (I thought it was hilarious). The length is fine, and once again Barnett and Klassen have given us an amusingly peculiar tale that’s a welcome departure from the norm; we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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