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(The Shapes Trilogy #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,490 ratings  ·  262 reviews
This book is about Square. Square spends every day taking blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground. This book is also about Square's friend Circle. Circle thinks Square is an artistic genius. But is he really?
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,490 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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David Schaafsma
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The second in a basic shapes picture book trilogy by Mac Barnett and Jon Klaasen--the first was Triangle, which I also like a lot--that is part of their efforts to deepen the picture book form. As I have said repeatedly (maybe about Klassen in particular, whose Hat trilogy I love) the works of these guys are almost unique in picture book creation in that they refuse to speak down to small children. They expect to engage them, through simple shapes and plenty of (literal) space for reflection, in ...more
Whispering Stories
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Last year I reviewed ‘Triangle‘ by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Jon Klassen. This is their second book in what is going to be a trilogy of books about different shapes.

This book follows Square who lives in a secret cave. Every day he goes to the bottom of his cave, chooses a square of rock and carries it outside of his cave. One day whilst doing this, Circle rolls past. She thinks that Square has made the square rocks to look like himself and wan
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
#1 Triangle ★★★★★
#2 Square ★★★★★
#3 Circle ★★★★★

I love Klassen's illustration style but hadn't read anything by Mac Barnett, so I figured this would be a good intro to Barnett's work, and it really was. I love these little shapes so much. They're just so funny and low-key snarky - I think I laughed more than my kid did!
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Triangle was one of my biggest disappointments last year. BUT it was also the picture book that made the strongest impression, inspired the most discussion, and had me waiting on the edge of my seat for the next book in the series. Soooo….Barnett and Klassen must be doing something right. :)

This is Square’s story.

We meet Square as he’s doing his daily chore of dragging and pushing his square shaped blocks out of his secret cave and up the hill. This is his work. Circle floats o
Laura Harrison
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Liked it better than the first. I wish they had put the trilogy in one picture book or early reader multiple chapter book. The board book format for this series isn't working for me. Board books are typically for the youngest readers. They are primarily purchased because the parents want a sturdy, colorful often classic and learning book. Babies/toddlers are into sucking, teething and chewing on board books. I get that the amazing Barnett is teaching shapes but the stories are rather sophisticat ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This is the most existentialist children's picture book I've ever read and I loved it.
Benji Martin
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, a book has to sit in your mind for a few days before you can really appreciate it. That’s how it was for me with Square, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s forthcoming book, the follow-up to Triangle.

I came to the book expecting more mischief and sneaky tricks, and I didn’t get that at all. (Although, Triangle is noticeably absent. Who knows what happened when Square got himself unstuck from Triangle’s door. We do know that Jon Klassen doesn’t shy away from grizzly murders. Jus
I have mixed feelings about this book. After my initial reading my only thought was "Why was this so depressing?" and then gave it to my coworker to read to get her opinion. She felt that it was a downer as well.

Thinking about it past my gut feeling, I could see how there are two distinct perspectives in the book and that how we perceive ourselves is different from how others perceive us. Overall the book has potential to be too deep for children but they also can surprise you
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The more I read this book, the more I love it.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
A most excellent children's picture book that proves beauty, and art, is in the eye of the beholder.

I love Barnett's art, with its subtle gradations; it's simple, yet, oh, so appealing.


Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of 'Triangle' / Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Perspective
Shelves: picture-books
Busy with his daily task of pushing blocks up the nearby mountain, Square is surprised when his friend Circle happens by, and praises his genius. Having mistaken him for a sculptor, Circle assumes that Square has made the blocks in his own image, and asks him to make one in her's. Unfortunately, after a night of chiseling, Square has nothing but a pile of rubble. Or does he...?

In this follow-up to their earlier Triangle , author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen deliver an engaging, t
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mac Barnett is a genius. Or is he really? Hahahaha!

I was hoping for a cameo from Triangle because I loved that book so much, and yet somehow, I found that this book was even more satisfying on a deeper level. I am curious how the kids will react to it. I want to read it as a companion piece and see what they think. Will they get the deeper message? Does it really matter if they don't? Hmmm. It could still be perfect in itself even if they don't.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really, really like the direction this new series is taking. Behind the silly story, there are plenty of opportunities for analysis on a deeper level. Brilliant. So far, I like these better even than the hat series...
Sarah N
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
(4 1/2 STARS) Not quite as funny as its predecessor "Triangle," but I still found this one to be tremendously enjoyable and I'm so glad I bought a copy for my bookshelf! (A+ illustrations from Jon Klassen - as always.)
What can I say? Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are pure genius. Circle asks Square to carve a likeness of her out of stone. Can Square pull it off???
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These books are so weird.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Kids don’t always get their humor but I read it to them anyway. 🤔😉🤣
Ferial Fattahi
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it! Anything by these two geniuses would worth embracing , cause it will be with you for a long long time, right next to your heart!
Phoebe Ledster
I love the mysteriousness within this book and its meaning. It manages to be comforting and disheartening at the same time and that is the main reason why I love Barnett's style of writing! I think it is vital to have unique picture books within children's literature that aren't afraid to be individual or different from the common literary style that are often in classrooms. The same goes for the wonderful illustrations. Klassen brings this story to life with his artwork and it suits they style ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jon is one of my most favourite Canadian illustrators and his drawings shine here with "Square."

A quick read for any age and fun all around.

They two authors have collaborated on others books which I have put on my to-read list and library holds.

Highly recommended!

Jillian Heise
I liked this one better than the first book. Some deep philosophical thinking can be prompted by this one.
Mrs. Krajewski
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this one more than Triangle.
Chance Lee
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-it
Follow-up to TRIANGLE features marvelous, subtle artwork by Jon Klassen, and a surprisingly philosophical story from the guy who wrote I LOVE YOU LIKE A PIG.
Nadine Jones
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a complex and confusing book with charming illustrations and few words. I finished it feeling like I'd missed the point. But maybe that was the point? Are we meant to accept things at face value, as they are, and find the joy and beauty in that?

Note: my twelve year old grabbed this as soon as I brought it out of the library, and she LOVED it. I should also note that she used to have an "invisible friend" named Circle, so this story about two friends, Square and Circle, was ri
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Every day, Square goes down into his cave and takes a block from the pile below the ground. He pushes the block up and out of the cave. He brings the block to the pile at the top of the hill. This is his work."

Helen White
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-teen
So sad, the lovely little square moves square blocks all day. Until circle demands a sculpture of himself. Will square make it? Is he a genius? Is he doomed to questioning his self worth and failure? I'm reading too much into it maybe.

Pictures are nice.
Rich Farrell
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Not as good as Triangle, but it’s still pretty great. Klassen and Barnett are very entertaining nonetheless. The ending is cleverly written and how Klassen can make his characters show such emotion with only eyes cracks me up.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute speed read. Square is totally a genius.
Sarah Sammis
Imposter syndrome and tight deadlines. But why oh why does circle have to be female (and I know they would be even before they showed up).
Brenda Lower
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book. Made me think a lot about art...
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Born to non-farmers in a California farming community, Mac Barnett now lives near San Francisco. He's on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center for students in Los Angeles, and he founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers.

Other books in the series

The Shapes Trilogy (3 books)
  • Triangle
  • Circle
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