Published 1973 by Random House Inc.
The story starts with a young boy talking to a young girl about how no two shapes are the same. He lists a bunch of different shapes, starting out fairly simple; balloon, bed, bike, fish.
He eventually moves on to more complicated things like machines, elephants, ships, dripping water, etc.
Then the girl takes over and starts to point out the shapes of different things. She is instantly more creative thinking of the shape of gum as a stick, all chewed up, and as a bubble. She even thinks of the shape of smoke. For a little bit she goes back to more every day things like roosters, horses, tires, clothes, etc. Then she gets much more imaginative by thinking of the shapes of things that don’t even exist. She gets even more creative and actually names one of a BLOGG!
She ends the story by saying:
we MIGHT have been…
I say, ‘HOORAY
for the shapes we’re in.”
Like most Bright & Early Books there is no dedication.
Seuss was influenced by some black and white illustrations he saw in a plane magazine. They were of primitive stone-cutting silhouettes by Inuits of northern Quebec. He said they were, “about the strongest illustrations I’ve ever seen.” The entire book is done in silhouettes, but it does not lack color. The book was almost published under Seuss’ other pen name Theo LeSeig which is used for books he writes, but does not illustrate.
The first half of the book is narrated by a young boy and is mostly everyday shapes. The second half is narrated by a young girl. The girl goes into more creative shapes that explore imagination. In the story “The Glunk That Got Thunk” the young girl is repremanded for being too imaginative and getting herself into trouble. Seuss seems to have taken that back in this story by showing that girls can think more creatively and not get into trouble for it.
The original cover has only the boy with other silhouettes. For once I am actually in agreement with the changes made for the new cover. Considering the girl narrates more than the boy does I think it’s important that they are both on the cover. I also like that the silhouettes are in different colors showing that the inside is not just in black silhouettes which would be a bit boring for a children’s book.
“The shape of you
the shape of me
the shape of everything I see…
No shapes are ever quite alike.”
In the actual book the page is a brighter yellow and the silhouettes are in a darker teal. Also the girl is cut off so you don’t see her back leg and the right arm was added in.
I just really enjoy the simplicity of the image. Roasting marshmallows just seems so comforting
Thanks for reading,