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The Greedy Triangle

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,304 ratings  ·  393 reviews
In this lively introduction to shapes and polygons, a bored triangle is turned into a quadrilateral after a visit to the shapeshifter. Delighted with his new career opportunities--as a TV screen and a picture frame--he decides the more angles the better, until an accident teaches him a lesson. Includes special teaching section. Full color.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 1994)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,304 ratings  ·  393 reviews

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Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Greedy Triangle is written by Marilyn Burns and illustrated by Gordon Silveria and is part of the Sholastic book range.

The triangle is bored with his shape and asks a shapeshifter to add another angle to his shape....over and over again. He becomes many different shapes until at last he he misses his friends and learns that it's not so bad being a triangle!

This book is great for early learners of maths - Early Years, even KS1, introducing the correct names for geometric shapes.
It challenges chi
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, childrens
My niece, who is eight, enjoyed this book. It's a fun introduction to geometry cleverly and skillfully disguised as a story about a triangle who is dissatisfied with his same-o same-o life. My niece was absorbed in the book, and she spent time counting the sides and angles on the shape as it changed from a traingle, to a quadrilateral, to a pentagon, etc., etc. She also got a nice little lesson about liking yourself the way you are.

The only downside was that the story got a bit repetitive, whic
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-and-ya
This book is a two for one special! It opens the discussion of the importance of being yourself and staying true to yourself. It demonstrates what can potentially happen to your friends when you are not true to yourself. I also absolutely adore this book as well, when I’m teaching 2D shapes! There is tons of information in the back matter if the book as well!
Wymer Landon
The best book
The number one choice from triangles all around the room
Sara Lynn
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
1. Genre: Picture Book/Concept (Shapes)

2. Summary: The little triangle loved to interact with others and to always know the town gossip, until one day he decided that he no longer wanted to be a triangle. After several trips to the shapeshifter, and after taking the form of many different shapes, the little triangle learned that he loved who he was after all.

3. Critique:
a. One of the greatest strengths of this story is the use of descriptive illustrations to support the text.

b. The title charact
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Babies and toddlers
Recommended to Lance by: Baby Adam
"But his favourite was to slide into place when people put their hands on their hips. That way he got to hear all the gossip before anyone else and got to tell his friends."

This was a fun and creative little book introducing young children to the regular polygons. The role of the triangle and the subsequent shapes which it became make the abstract concepts of geometric shapes more relevant to young children. I also really enjoyed the subversion of the "shapeshifter" and his colourful scientific
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is interesting. The triangle wants to be better and have MORE sides. A lot of people are like that. This book kind of tells us that more and more things for ourselves, won't really make us happy.
Ngoc  Dang
This book introduce kids to different shapes. The triangle wanted to be other shapes because he wanted to have more fun. Since the triangle change into other shapes, the book also introduce sides of the shapes.
Kristen Dutkiewicz
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Delivering the message that it is always best to be yourself, The Greedy Triangle also introduces children to various polygons on its journey to discover other shape possibilities.

Gladly, in the end, he realizes staying a triangle is just right!
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great read aloud for kids of all ages
Sarah Rogers
Summary: One day, a triangle decides he is unhappy with his life and goes to see a shapeshifter. He asks the shapeshifter for another side, but soon becomes dissatisfied with life as a quadrilateral as well. After many more trips to the shapeshifter to add angles and change his shape, the triangle realizes that he likes being a triangle after all.

Evaluation: This is an all around great book. It does a great job of not only talking about shapes, but providing readers with real life examples of sh
Emily Costella
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: concepts
I absolutely love this book. The story starts off with a triangle who begins to grow bored with being a triangle. It goes to the shapeshifter to change its shape to start over. It then becomes a quadrilateral and begins to grow bored of that. Over and over again, the shape grows tired of who it is and changes its shape one side and angle at a time. After a while, the shape loses its shape and wants to return to being a triangle. After it returns to being a triangle, it realizes that that is wher ...more
Kennedy Meredith
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a triangle, he was very busy doing all the different things that triangles do. All the triangle wanted was to be something special. One day, the triangle went to the shapeshifter, and the shapeshifter turned him into a quadrilateral. He was now happy being a quadrilateral, but he still wanted something more. So, he went back to the shapeshifter and was then turned into a pentagon. Now that he was a pentagon, he became very busy and had no time for his friends. After being turned into a many-s ...more
Stefanie Burns
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott-honor
Fun Math oriented book where one day a triangle becomes unhappy with his shape. He's bored. He sees a shapeshifter who turns him into a quadrilateral. After awhile, he becomes bored with this new shape and wants another change.Unsurprisngly, at the end, he likes being a triangle best. Message to this story: the grass is not always greener.

Throughout the story, real world items in the various shapes are pointed out and students will like finding the shapes in the illustrations. I like that Math
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**All reviews can be found at**

This book is so much fun and also aligns to my previous discussion of accepting yourself. In this book, we meet a triangle who desperately wants more sides. Throughout the book, he gains more sides until he becomes a circle and realizes, he wishes he were a triangle again.

The vocabulary in this book is in a class on its own. I love that the author uses complex vocabulary such as "polygon" and defines it for young readers. Students can le
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: math
This introduces polygons and their names from triangle through decagon, and it highlights where shapes (triangle through hexagon, mainly) are seen in everyday life.

It shows shapes in lots of orientations, which was nice.
*The triangles are most isosceles.
*The quadrilaterals for the main character are all rectangles and mostly squares, though there is a rhombus character, as well.
*The pentagons are mostly regular or have two adjacent right angles.
*The hexagons and higher are regular.
Mary Catherine
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent way to introduce shapes to young children in a fun and humourous way. There are tons of extension activities that can take root from this book. Children can easily engage with the story and track the shapes within. It also teaches some important morals like being happy with what you have and also to be careful what you wish for. Overall, a great read even just for enjoyment.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The greedy triangle just wants to try new things, but that means visiting the shape shifter to see how life can change.

A great message about enjoying who you are and what you do along with bringing situational awareness to where shapes hide. (Triangle’s favorite place is when dancers put their hands on their hips so he can hear the latest news!) Plus the introductions of geometry terms.

I would say for ages 6 and up.
This is an entertaining story about a triangle who wants more sides and angles which eventually become too much for it to handle and realize it prefers it's life as a triangle.

This book would be great for kids to learn the name of shapes and objects in life that are that shape. It also has a great message for kids to not get greedy, to know your limits, and to not think you are the exception to a rule.
Karina Alvarado
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this book does a phenomenal job in introducing shapes! I would definitely read this book aloud to my students and have it available in my classroom to get my students thinking about all the shapes around them and make math and shapes more relevant to them! This is a great book because it also teaches an important lesson: do not try being something you are not and embrace who you really are. I think that is an important lesson every student should learn!
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read this yet, but I can't figure out how to add a note to it without rating it first. I feel it is important to note that GR advertised this book to me based on my currently reading Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. I look forward to discovering what a "math" book "for kids" featuring intelligent polygons has in common with Sontag's works.
Jane Miller
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A children's picture book. A cute look at many different shapes and how they are used. Triangle - sailboats, slices of pie; Quadrilateral - computer screen, window, picture frame; pentagon - baseball diamond, Pentagon; hexagon - floor tiles, bee hive; ......

Finally he finds that he should have stayed the shape he was. life lesson?
Cute story about a bored triangle who would like to add extra sides and angles. As the triangle changes shape it discovers there are many things that each new figure can do. Great way to introduce geometry and shapes to students. Appropriate for grades two to four.
Ben Callaway
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I thought this book was especially interesting because it was based in math. It can help children learn about their polygons while also teaching them an important lesson. Be happy with yourself and don't be too greedy.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a great way to introduce a lot of shapes to your kids. Everyone teaches the basics, but familiarizing them with polygons is important as well. It also gave great examples of where you can find many of the shapes. It also gave a nice message about being yourself.
Shaylee Roberts
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eled-340
Picture book: I loved this book!! It reminds us to be happy with what we have because we take things for granted too much. Greediness isn't helpful. It's fun to use a math concept in such a colorful book.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun story that takes kids through a journey of different shapes as a shape takes on an additional side. The end of the book includes some helpful concept teaching information for parents, teachers, and other adults reading with kids!
Jessica W
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time, I borrowed this from another teacher to use in my class. I loved it, the kids loved it, and it was both fun and useful for a couple different topics. If I ever get back in the classroom, I'll have to pick up a copy to own. It's a great book!
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young children
Recommended to Karen by: TJed
This is a living math book. We love it. Great geometry intro. Discusses shapes from triangle to decagon and beyond, in what my three year old nephew calls a "silly book." He requests it frequently before his nap.
Betsey Brannen
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A cute book for polygon introduction for mid-primary children. The back of the book features additional definitions and expansion activities.
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Marilyn Burns is one of today’s most highly respected mathematics educators. Over the course of 40 years, Marilyn has taught children, led inservice sessions, and written a variety of professional development publications for teachers and administrators.

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