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The Wing on a Flea: A Book about Shapes
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The Wing on a Flea: A Book about Shapes

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Children are fascinated by shapes and colors and the world is full of amazing shapes, colors, and sizes. Look and you can see that a wing on a flea is a triangle, a ruler is a rectangle, and the wheels on a truck are circles. Using vivid illustrations and a simple rhyming text, noted author/illustrator Ed Emberley introduces the concept of shapes and sizes to curious young ...more
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Little Brown and Company (first published 1961)
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Sarah Sammis
Oct 25, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: HNU
In April 2010, I reviewed the reissued version of The Wing on a Flea by Ed Emberley. That's the 1988 reissue with completely new illustrations and edited text. While interning at Holy Names I came across the 1961 version, a book that is more in keeping with how I remember Emberley's books being.

The Wing on a Flea (original) introduces children to basic shapes: triangles, circles, squares and rectangles. Except for the red cover, the only colors inside are white, black, blue and green. Mostly it'
Apr 10, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This concept book of shapes shows the many ways that triangles, rectangles, and circles appear all around us. For example, “A triangle could be the wing on a flea / or the beak on a bird, if you’ll just look and see.” The geometric illustrations, printed in bright colors on black paper, are especially vivid and appealing. Readers will have fun picking out familiar shapes, and seeing how even simple shapes can come together to form interesting drawings (in classic Ed Emberley style). The rhythmic ...more
Sarah Sammis
I grew up reading Ed Emberley's books. I rediscovered him as a parent. I remember him mostly for his how to draw books but he also has a long list of picture books and books he has illustrated for other authors. The Wing on a Flea is an updated edition of his 1961 book which we borrowed from the library.

As Ed points out at the close of the book, fleas don't have wings. He took poetic license hoping to inspire creativity as he shows children how simple geometric shapes can be used to create compl
Tahira Hamilton
Aug 20, 2008 Tahira Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers or parents of young children!
This is a great book about shapes! the author of this book cleaverly used basic shapes to make pictures of every day objects and animals. Each page asks the reader to find a different shape, like a circle or square. This is a very colorful book.
I would use this book to lead into a simple geography lesson for students in second grade or younger. After reading this book I would let students try and name differnt shapes I would hold up. To expand upon this lesson I would let students make their ow
Ali Wilcox
Sep 12, 2012 Ali Wilcox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: concept-book
This is a really good book to help younger kids differentiate between certain shapes. This book allows to students to study the shaps of triangles, rectangles, and circles. On each page it has an object that pertains to that particular shape. The illustrations are what make this book so great. The shape that is being discussed is a certain color while the rest of the picture is different. For example, while explaining what a triangle looks like, there is a picture of a bird and the beak of the b ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The entire book, The Wing on a Flea, is very enthralling and teaches children how to identify triangles, rectangles and circles. Emberley makes children aware of different geometric shapes that occur in their surroundings, be it nature, structures or vehicles. The colorful illustrations are set against a black background which makes them vividly stand out. The enthralling nature of the color schemes allow the reader to explore beyond the text allowing them to focus on the concept of geometric sh ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that my son checked out from the library. He, at four, already knows his shapes, so the hunting for shapes did not hold his interest very long. The text was cute, and the illustrations were adorable and entertaining.

My son, however, was very fascinated by how Ed Emberley used shapes to create pictures. I know that Ed Emberley has some "how-to-draw" books that use that concept, so I'll be looking for those.
Oct 06, 2008 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wing on a Flea is a book about shapes and the different places you can find them. For example a triangle could be the wing on a flea or the beak on a bird. Activity 1: This book could be used in a math lesson as you count the many different shapes and/or use the shapes to make different patterns. Activity 2: Use the story to teach a lesson on rhyming words. In a round robin activity have them make as many words as possible to rhyme with the word hat, and so on.
Ellen Brandt
Apr 30, 2010 Ellen Brandt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gr-k-storytime
A triangle could be.. a wing on a flea! Before we read this book, we came up with a list ideas of what else a triangle could be - and then we did the same for circles and squares. Students were thrilled when their ideas showed up in the story. The illustrations are interactive; students find many more triangles, circles and rectangles than the ones mentioned in the text
Paul  Hankins
Delightful verse exploring all of the things a shape could be.

If you'll just look and see.

Wouldn't this be a fun book to workshop with a group of younger readers. Looking at shapes in different ways and with the help of a lead learner, perhaps all of these ideas could be set to rhyme during the month of April to bring the poetry back into the lesson.
With primary coloured shapes, Emberly makes looking for, and identifying simple shapes fun and full of imagination. Each shape becomes a multitude of things from a fish tail to a sail on a boat, from from a piece of confetti to a check on a shirt, and from a little green pea to a light on a lighthouse. This encourages children to find fun shapes in even the most unexpected places.
Andd Becker
The book glows with illustrative examples of triangle, rectangle, and circle shapes. The square is notably missing.
The author's poetry resounds with "If you'll just look and see" five times.
I think young children would enjoy having an adult read this book to them.
The book serves as a pleasant introduction to using simple shapes to compose more complicated images. It's lighthearted, engaging, and kids enjoy identifying the shapes.
Jul 26, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book, shapes
They just brought this into the bookstore. I LOVED Ed Emberley drawing books growing up. This is a clever shape book and the illustrations are really unique.
Jul 25, 2016 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous concept book about shapes.
Apr 03, 2013 Prplpckl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-anabel
A fun, high-contrast book about how the basic shapes of a triangle, square and circle can make up many objects.
Feb 01, 2017 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colorful book. I'll be using it with some 3rd and 4th graders to talk about the artwork and do some similar art of our own.
As the cover flap says, this is a "brilliantly illustrated book"! Every page is full of geometric shape pictures that are fun! It opens up the imagination to look at the world around us differently!
Edward Creter
This cute book about different shapes in different artworks is sure to please the shape-loving kid in your brood.
Lindsey Rutledge
Jul 17, 2012 Lindsey Rutledge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would be great for lower level grades. Students would be able to see that the shapes that are talked about in math class are all around us. The illustrations are very colorful and bright.
May 14, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Simple shapes displayed in images and situations easily recognized by toddlers and preschoolers
Feb 06, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would be a great library art storytime book.
Jun 15, 2012 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My kids love every book we've ever read by emberley. This book is great because it helps them relate shapes to their every day lives.
Emma rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2015
The Smiths
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Carmen rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2016
Gelene Keever
Gelene Keever rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2016
Gabe rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2012
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American artist and illustrator, best known for children's picture books.
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