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Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes
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Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  241 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
A little girl's neighborhood becomes a discovery ground of things round, square and rectangular. Many of the objects are Asian in origin, other universal: round rice bowls and a found pebble, square dim sum and pizza boxes, rectangular Chinese lace and very special pencil case. Bright art accompanies this lively introduction to shapes and short glossary explains the cultur ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Chronicle Books
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Books I Will Read to My Kids
78th out of 90 books — 15 voters
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Diversity for Preschoolers
13th out of 51 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 422)
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Courtney Cole
This is the book I chose for my multicultural book. Specifically the topic was Asian/Pacific. The little girl in the book is Asian and she starts to notice things in her town a little different from other people. She talks about the different shapes she sees in her town and the names of all of them. A lot of the objects names she points out are native to the Asian culture. Like rice dishes and rectangular Chinese lace. This book will give you a variety of different shapes, colors and vocabulary. ...more
Khaoi Mady
Apr 10, 2015 Khaoi Mady rated it liked it
Children's Multicultural

Roseanne Thong. Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes (200). This is a rhyming picture book about a little Asian girl discovering things in her neighborhood that are round, square, and rectangle in shape. Many of the objects that she sees are of Asian origin, like round rice bowls, rectangle red envelopes, and rectangle rice sacks. She also sees objects that are more universal or American by nature, like round mouse eyes, square pizza boxes, and square kitten litter baske
Alexis Y.
Jun 10, 2014 Alexis Y. rated it liked it
This book has some multicultural elements but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to start a multicultural discussion. The girl in the story is Asian and she is noticing the shapes around her. Square, round and rectangular are some of the shapes she mentions. Some of the shapes she sees are from Asian objects others are not. The illustrations in the book suggest that the story takes place in an Asian country and gives readers a glimpse of some of the objects used in the Asian culture. If a teach ...more
Chelle Harbin
Nov 17, 2015 Chelle Harbin rated it really liked it
Round is mooncake is a book of shapes that all relate to things found in Asian culture. Round is a mooncake and rice bowl, square is tofu and dim sum, rectangle is inking stones and sacks of rice, among many more. This book uses items from a child's everyday environment to show them the variety of shapes in the world. This book could be used for math instruction as well as a culture exploration. Students could complete a family activity and find shapes in their homes. They could take pictures or ...more
Megan Mandl
Feb 25, 2015 Megan Mandl rated it liked it
Personal Response: I love the bright splashes of color that fill the pages, and the unique way that the pictures appear zoomed in. The rhymes on every page are clever and come from a diverse perspective, which makes it a great choice for the classroom. I appreciated how authentic this book was, and it was helpful that it included a glossary of terms that not all American kids may understand.

- Ages 3-7
Read Aloud for Enrichment:
- introduction of new vocabulary words (abacus, crickets,
Jennifer Gallman
Nov 29, 2014 Jennifer Gallman rated it it was amazing
Picture books are notorious for depicting shapes and vocabulary suitable for young children, but Thong and Lin's book goes beyond the suggested three to five age limit and presents a beautiful, multicultural experience in learning shapes and vocabulary.
Many young children, and their parents, may ask, "what is a mooncake" to which the book cleverly answers in a short glossary as a "round cake with sweet fillings." Thong takes readers through three shapes: round/circle, square, and rectangle, whic
My favorite part of this book is the illustrations. Grace Lin has long been a favorite illustrator of mine and this book is no exception. The pictures are imbued with bright colors that readers are bound to notice and the cultural aspects are accurate and intriguing. This book looks at round, square, and rectangular things in the world around us, but it adds a nice little twist by focuses on things that have Chinese cultural significance. Things such as Dim Sum, name chops, abacus all come into ...more
A little girl enjoys identifying various shapes (round, square, rectangular) in this lovely picture book filled with cultural elements. The gouache illustrations are lovely and enhance the rhyming text perfectly. This one would be an excellent introduction to basic shapes, especially since the shapes are fairly common but the objects presented many not be familiar to many students. The back matter explains the cultural significance of the objects mentioned in the book, which helps readers unders ...more
May 19, 2011 Sherry rated it it was amazing
Wonderful picture book to introduce the idea of shapes to toddlers. Teaches children to seek and recognize shapes in everyday objects. Recommended for ages 2-6.

“Round Is a Mooncake” is a delightful picture book that teaches the math concept of shapes and the visual and intellectual skills to recognize shapes everywhere. Preschoolers will love to listen to the lyrical, narrative rhyme, so important in early literacy skills. Early elementary students find the rhyming scheme helpful in decoding wo
Amy Holliday
May 14, 2008 Amy Holliday rated it liked it
Comments on the Story:
This story is unique because it combines two learning genres, an introduction to shapes and an introduction to a unique culture. Thus, the story could be useful for explaining to children what some of the different words meant and could be used with cultural diversity activities or the focus of the book could be about shapes. I find this combination to be appealing because I think that we often think that introduction to shapes should just be about shapes and it is nice to
Hana Sm.
Jan 19, 2014 Hana Sm. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asian
This story describes the life of an Asian-American girl (who is unnamed) by showing the reader things in her home & neighborhood that are unique to her Chinese culture. I know that the girl lives in America because some of the signs in her neighborhood are in English, her family eats pepperoni pizza & the houses are American-style.

This book is also a shape book–the shapes are from objects commonly found in Chinese households (round lanterns, square radish cakes). But there are a few Ame
May 06, 2008 Claudia rated it liked it
Shelves: pic-bk-concept
(CIP) As a little girl discovers things round, square, and rectangular in her urban neighborhood, she is reminded of her Chinese American culture.

(Claudia) Short rhymes name many things round, square, and rectangular: lanterns, rice bowls, a name chop, tofu cakes, sacks of rice, lucky money … all from the Chinese-America home and neighborhood of the little girl telling the story. Attractive double-page paintings do a thorough job of introducing us to all those variously shaped things, as well as
Oct 05, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs642
I viewed this book on Tumblebooks through Library of Virginia. I was especially interested in viewing Tumblebooks because I am interested in introducing my two year old niece to different reading mediums. I was also interested in the aspect of other cultures and introducing young readers to this important and wonderful aspect of literature.
I really enjoyed the book, and the presentation of the book on the screen. The text is highlighted in portions as it is read, and does not linger long enoug
Sep 25, 2008 Sam rated it liked it
This is a concept book in which readers would learn about how shapes like circles, squares, and rectangles take many forms in today’s world. The book is about a Chinese girl who discovers that shapes are everywhere if you are willing to look for them. The book has questions that ask the reader to identify other shapes from on each page.

Teaching ideas:

1) The teacher will instruct the students to draw three columns on their paper and label each one with circle, square, and rectangle. Have the stu
Amy B.
Jul 24, 2008 Amy B. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: early childhood educators/ parents of young children
Recommended to Amy by: NEA website
Thong, R. (2000). Round is a mooncake. San Francisco, California. Chronicle Books.

This text celebrates some of the aspects of the Chinese culture using shapes to help label objects. The story of a Chinese girl and the shapes that she finds in her neighborhood will appeal to young children learning about shapes and older children curious about other cultures. The illustrations show a family that values their culture and traditions. The glossary at the end of the text helps the reader relate to th
Brittany Hastings
Nov 20, 2012 Brittany Hastings rated it liked it
Grade Level: PreK
Lexile: 110
Main Character: Young Chinese Girl
Setting: Neigborhood
POV: 3rd Person
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural Literature

-Summary: This story is about a young Chinese girl who goes around her neighborhood to find different shapes. Many of these shapes that she finds have Asian roots. She decides which shapes she thinks are circles and which shapes she thinks are rectangles. Some of the objects that she identifies are rice bowls, lace, and other Chinese objects.

I would
Meg McGregor
Feb 26, 2014 Meg McGregor rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-lexi
A wonderful way for little ones to be exposed to shapes and to another culture.

Beautifully illustrated and quite informative this book is a keeper!
Mar 23, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This is a vibrantly illustrated storybook that can be used to introduce children to Chinese culture and to review shapes.
Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong is a book for very young children who are learning their shapes. I enjoyed that the author integrated the shapes of things present in the Chinese culture as well as things in American culture. This book also had lots of rhyming, which would be good to use for the younger grades. I listened to this book read on the Tumble Books website. I enjoyed the voice of the reader as well as the moving illustrations. As he shapes were mentioned on each pages the object ...more
Mrs. Peura
Mar 24, 2015 Mrs. Peura rated it liked it
Great for smaller children.
Katherine Fountain
Mar 25, 2012 Katherine Fountain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math, multi-cultural
Round is a Mooncake gives readers many different ways to conceptualize shapes. This story uses American and Chinese items that can be found in day to day life. Objects include a rice bowl, pizza box, etc. This story would be best for pre-k and kindergarten and after reading, students could think of or look for shapes in their own day to day lives. A scavenger hunt around the school would be fun as well. I love the multicultural aspect in this book and all of the possibilities that can be incorpo ...more
Katie Williams
As the title states, this is a book about shapes and how everyday items are shaped like a circle, square, rectangle, etc. Students could identify shapes around the room using proper vocabulary to describe them (I see something that has no angles and one side, etc.) They could also be assgined a different shape each week adn as a show and tell, bring someting in from home that is of that shape. An inferring lesson could be used as there are some terms from Chinese culture are mentioned; what do y ...more
Mar 04, 2011 Westerville rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, picture_book
"A girl finds circles, square, rectangles in her everyday world. Some are culturally specific to her Chinese heritage -- round are rice bowls, square of her name chop, rectangle of abacus, and these are interspersed with the everyday -- mice and houses and pizza." - Robin, Youth Librarian

Reserve a library copy or check out our free online read-along!
Lauren Owens
Sep 17, 2012 Lauren Owens rated it liked it
Shelves: math, shapes, ell, chinese
This is a shapes book that gives examples of circles, rectangles and squares in the chinese-american culture.

ELL Connection: Since this book is written to relate Chinese objects to shapes, I would definitely use it with Chinese students in younger grades. But, I would also use it for all ELLs because the pictures are very simple to understand and the way the book is written demonstrates the skill of applying shapes to the real world in a very visual way.

Recommended grade level:P-2
Feb 15, 2011 jacky rated it liked it
This was read at the end of play group. It is a shape book with a Chinese culture theme. It has more of a story than most shape books, which are just the shape seen in one or two places per page. There were nice colors in the illustrations, which had a nice balance of detail and simplicity. I didn't hear the whole thing because Natalie was wandering a bit, but I expect we'll hear it again another day since we often get repeated books.
I like that this book does double duty. It introduces three shapes (square, rectangle, circle) and presents objects from Chinese and Chinese-American culture as examples of the shapes. I love it when I read a children's book and learn about things that I didn't know about! The style of the illustrations didn't do much for me, but I would consider checking this one out again once my son gets old enough to identify shapes.
I snagged a copy at ALA and took a quick read. I am not familiar with the author but of course I recognize the illustrator, Grace Lin. The illustrations are the best part of the book. The story is quiet and not terrifically creative. The illustrations are bright and cheerful. It is a perfectly decent book to have in the library for kids to learn shapes and a bit about Chinese culture at the same time.
Poetic, rhyming text. A girl finds circles, square, rectangles in her everyday world. Some are culturally specific to her Chinese heritage -- round are rice bowls, square of her name chop, rectangle of abacus, and these are interspersed with the everyday -- mice and houses and pizza. Simple enough for young listeners (toddlers). Bold bright illustrations will appeal to them as well.
Shira Burns
Reading this text aloud is a great way to integrate literature into a beginning math lesson about shapes.This book brings shapes to life by giving real life examples of objects that take on certain shapes in the Chinese culture. It can be used along with Geoboards in the classroom to as students construct the different shapes throughout the book.
Cressalyn Davis
Apr 21, 2013 Cressalyn Davis rated it it was amazing
This a good cultural book that incorporates shapes. There is a little girl that is explaining several things in her house that we as Americans would never see and some that we would see. I was interested to see what I knew! There is also a little blurb at the end explaining the different things that were talked about.
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