CIRCLE UNDER BERRY
By: Carter Higgins
Published: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Over, under, in-between, left and right, colors, and shapes are all included in this unique book for toddlers. This book has a board book outside but pages (thicker than normal) on the inside. This style of a book helps toddlers transition from board books to reading and turning the pages in picture books. It’s like the perfect in-between stage for toddler reading.
Higgins has expanded on the typical color and shapes book to includes shapes that turn into animals and items, teaching location as well as word recognition. This book has it all for preparing toddlers for preschool.
The illustrations have a watercolor/mixed media look to them that gives them almost a 3D look on the white page background reminiscent of Eric Carle’s books. I love the shapes incorporated into the animals like a square frog, oval guppy, and trapezoid dragonfly. Reading this aloud to your child allows your toddler to point on the pages when you read “over” or “under” or “right” or “next to”. Then encourage your toddler to move about the room and sit under or next to something to enhance the learning experience even more.
The concepts in this book seem simple, but really each one is expanding on the other to eventually achieve advanced learning by the end. Repetition and visual illustrations that are simple help toddlers recognize the same shapes and colors on each page, building their memory bank. I really love this book written especially for toddlers ready for the next level of learning in preparation for preschool.
See the book trailer for CIRCLE UNDER BERRY, below:
Carter Higgins is releasing her first picture book as both author and illustrator, CIRCLE UNDER BERRY. She is also the author of several middle-grade novels and an upcoming chapter book releasing in September 2021. She is an Emmy-winning visual effect and motion graphics artist and spent a decade as an elementary school librarian. Higgins lives in Las Vegas. Check out her website, HERE.
★ “[V]isually striking. . . carefully assembled. . . [and] inspired by an Eric Carle aesthetic. . . [Circle Under Berry] possesses a pleasing rhythm and subtle rhymes, positively begging to be read aloud: ‘circle next to berry/square by bear by sweet // blue up high / pig down low/yellow in between.’ Satisfying, engaging, and sure to entertain the toddlers at whom it is aimed.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Using hand-painted paper to create brilliantly hued, shape-based forms that appear against a clean white backdrop, Higgins (Bikes for Sale) economically examines ways to observe color, shape, pattern, and position. . . . [D]rawing readers’ attention while achieving real grace as the items resolve into origami-like forms. . . Higgins offers seeds of conversations about naming and classification.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review