This breezy story starts with Circle rolling, bumping into Triangle then popping, turning thereby into smaller circles that cause Square to sneeze a flurry of shapes — Diamond, Star, etc.. — that bounce into and bend Line. Eventually, Octagon has to break everyone up and Heart has to straighten Line and repair Circle. The illustrations are as simple as the story, playful and clear. It is clearly a book written to conform to the wishes of children, not how we wish children to be, but nonetheless adeptly communicates both geometry and personal responsibility.
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“Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue. The art is gorgeous and it tells the story of a little girl going to bed so gently. In response to her assertion that she isn’t tired, her parents just say, ’We understand. Please brush your teeth. You can stay up as late as you like.′ It’s just lovely and presents an example of engaging with your child that isn’t adversarial. I think it’s a nice model and so pretty.” ― Allison Sook

This second entry in Barnett and Klassen’s planned shape trilogy grapples with such topics as anxiety, the nature of art, friendship, and imposter syndrome. Heady stuff, to be sure, but in the hands of Barnett and Klassen, who are responsible for some of the best children’s books of the past decade, it’s charming, funny, and beautifully wrought. And Square, who tries everything to impress Circle and, in the process, experiences an existential doozy that would cause most to ask for a double scotch on the rocks, is a character any kid would love: fragile, but full of hope and energy.
100 Great Children’s Books has been published on the occasion of The New York Public Library’s acclaimed exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, on view at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The list was selected by The New York Public Library’s Jeanne Lamb, Coordinator, Youth Collections, and Elizabeth Bird, Supervising Librarian. 
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