Colors versus Shapes by Mike Boldt

Colors versus Shapes

Mike Boldt


I hope that you had a lovely long weekend! Now that we are officially into the swing of the school year, I thought that I would start the week off with a concept book.  In this case.. colors and shapes!

I found this book when I was shelf reading one afternoon and really enjoyed the way the book was set up.  A group of colors and a group of shapes are vying to be the stars of the book.  Each team is auditioning for the starring role! The backdrop is a stage and the two teams take turns to explain why they are the best!

Colors show that they are the best by mixing colors to make new ones.  Shapes show that they are the best by joining together to make new shapes.  Each team tries to outdo the other team, with crazier and crazier antics.  UNTIL! One shape and one color collide! Then the two sides work together to create something magical.


Often, I find that concept books can be a little boring.  I mean, they are doing their job and good for them, but as an adult, you can only read some things once or twice before you’re tearing your hair out.  This is not one of those concept books.  There is an actual plot while still teaching about these concepts.  Plus, it celebrates working together.  Who wouldn’t like this book!?


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One Family by George Shannon


One Family by George Shannon

This book is mostly about families, with some counting thrown in.  It’s a really nice book because George Shannon counts up to 10

[G] The main reason that I like this book is because it shows all different types of families, not just a traditional 2 parent, 2 kid household.  It has large, extended families and small, 2 people families.  The book has families that all look the same and families that look quite different from each other.  And it shows families doing normal activities like cooking and going to the zoo.

I also like the repetitiveness of it–each page ends with the same two words: “One family.”


[BH] I think this book is a fabulously subtle counting book. It is all about a family being one, how different people make up different families but they are still ONE family. Throughout the book each page represents a number, after reading the book a couple of times you start to notice different things. George Shannon also does a fantastic job at diversifying the families that he portrays!  I fell in love with this book after reading up to the second page. Also he ends its that we are all one family on one earth – what a great little message!

Since the characters are doing a lot of activities you have most likely done at one time or another with your little use that to start a conversation about those experiences! When was the last time you went to the zoo? walked down the sidewalk with your whole family? Sat and watched the waves?


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City Colors by Zoran Milich

City Colors

Zoran Milich

[BH] This book is a fun and simple colors concept book. I first want to say I was totally impressed with the Houston Public Library – they had a whole little activity set for this book – it was so neat!Anyways back to the City Colors,  this book is a very basic, yet eye catching color book – great for the wee littles and also for those learning to read and sound things out as they will definitely feel successful with this book.  The pictures are vibrant and colorful (hahaha!) just what you need for book about colors. This is a book your little can read by themselves, or you can read together.
DSC_1440[G] This book is pretty straight forward, which is probably why I like it! It’s fun too because the pictures in the book are actual photographs of real things (cones! walls!) Your little should be able to recognize at least some things, or spot differences to things he sees everyday with what is in the book (a red London bus, for example!).  All around a solid book.

Color activities are endless so here are 2:

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Work: An Occupational ABC by Kellen Hatanaka

IMG_4214Here is a fun ABC book that will knock your socks off. Work: An Occupational ABC takes the whole ABC concept book to a new level and introduces you and your little to all sorts of jobs, some albeit a little quirky but definitely fun. The illustrations are crisp, clean and eye catching. This is a great book to share with your little and open their eyes to different jobs out there.  I mean who doesn’t want to be a ringmaster, a detective or a xenologist! And don’t fret at the end of the book is an adorable little description of each job!

[BH] So honestly I found this book online and had to go to the library and check it out immediately. I knew from the cover that it would be an amazing book. Let’s be honest ABC books sometimes seem to blend all together, they can be all over the place with random words that start with each letter of the alphabet. So when I saw this book and the concept of work and jobs I was so happy. The different occupations are definitely ones that littles will love, and it brings up strange occupations that one might not necessarily think to talk about. I mean if you can get past the beautiful illustrations and the color and make it to the last page where they define each occupation you might explode. The definitions are out of this world adorable, I seriously smiled while reading all of them!

[G] I think that the best part of this book is the illustrations.  They are clear and will help your little decode what each word means.  Which is good because I only like about half of the occupations that are listed.  This is always the problem with alphabet books–letters like X or U or Z are complicated to find words for and sometimes end up being a little out there.  This book, I think, falls into that trap too.  I really don’t like X or V.  However, Hatanka does use some cool occupations that your little will definitely know (and love!) like Ice Cream Vendor.

Part of the reason I did agree to this book was because it was different.  Opening your little up to a world of different jobs can spark their imaginations in ways you wouldn’t expect.  Plus, a fun thing to do would be to talk about the different occupations your little does know already (Garbage man! Fireman! Astronaut!) and see if you can figure out the letter each starts with.

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Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews

DSC_1352[BH] Here is a sweet book for counting. Ten Black Dots is an easy, enjoyable book. The author uses  different amounts of black dots to create different objects. The creativity this shows children is fantastic. Who knew you could use the face of a snowman, the wheels of a car or even the dots on a snake! The book uses a simple approach to the illustrations which allows you and your little to focus on the counting and not be easily distracted by anything else.

[G] This counting book is fun because it is a little different from a lot of other books out there.  Yes, you still can count just like any other counting book, but there is another aspect to the book as well! This makes it really good for re-reading–you can focus on different things and have them practice what they’ve just learnt.



-Black dot stickers (or black marker on colored dots)

-markers or crayons

-a great imagination

Let your little create their dreams with however many dots they want to. Let them count the dots they ultimately use and then ask them to write that number on the paper. If your little needs help writing the number – use a separate piece of paper to write the number on and remind them to try their best (just like Ramon from Ish.)