Picture Book And Play is a weekly post in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.
We usually post on a Friday, but it’s a special bonus Picture Book and Play post today as I join the blog tour for a fab new picture book!
The Perfect Fit by Naomi Jones and James Jones, published by Oxford University Press
No matter how hard she tries, Triangle doesn’t roll like the circles, or stack like the squares. She sets off to find friends that look exactly like her.
But when she finds other triangles, playtime isn’t as fun. She misses shapes that roll and stack; she misses being different. So she embarks on a new quest…
This is a book which carries a clever and celebratory message of diversity and the positives that mixing with those a bit different to you can bring.
We see how although it can feel lonely at first if you feel that you don’t fit in, it would be boring if we were all the same.
And the illustrations are fab! They’re probably my favourite thing about it and both Peapod and I were really drawn to them. I love their textured, blocky print style and it’s spot on for the repeating shapes, with the slightly different finishes and shades really underlines the book’s message of diversity.
And the way their faces are so simply drawn but so clearly express their feelings is great and makes for another brilliant talking point. Peapod asking me “feels sad?” or “happy now?” as he pointed to them while we read.
Peapod pointing out Triangle’s sad face
Our main characters here are shapes, so as we read we not only named the shapes but talked about corners, edges and curves. We described the shapes – were they round? straight? big? small?
And none of this was forced or contrived, but all part of our normal book chat as we discussed what was happening and what the characters were doing.
And I loved this! The best way to encourage language? Use it! (Don’t believe me? Swear in front of the next toddler you meet!)
So a book which enabled us to naturally use, model, encourage and familiarise mathematical language through its story was an absolute winner for me – every early years and KS1 setting should have a copy!
We made our own shape characters. Peapod was particularly taken with Triangle so we started there. Then he chose to make a circle telling me “Circle rolls. Triangle not roll” again starting us off chatting about why and the properties of the shapes.
He then found a red square to because he wanted to make Square next and we talked about how Triangle couldn’t stack well like the squares – “too pointy!!”
We did some shape threading and hunting too. Though, if you’re a regular reader of these posts you’ll know that I like to include all the bits that didn’t quite go to plan too (there’s no pinterest perfection here!!) so I should point out that putting the shapes away ended up offering far more longevity, interest and shape-chat than the actual activities!
We’ve also been playing two of our Orchard Toys games (I am in no way affiliated with them and we chose and paid for these ourselves. I mention them simply because we think their games are brilliant!) – Incy Wincy Spider and, Peapod’s favourite as he delights in the disgusting pizza toppings, Pizza Pizza.
A perfect fit for classrooms and homes everywhere – this is not only a joyful look at belonging, celebrating our differences and building on each others’ strengths, but also a super smart look at 2D shapes! Brilliant!
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on The Perfect Fit blog tour