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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There are shapes all around us. Everything has a shape. Even sea creatures have shapes: like the octopus with its rectangular eyes that help them escape danger. There are even boxfish that are, you guessed it, shaped like a box, the whale with its triangular-shaped dorsal fin, and the sea turtle with the hexagon shapes on its shell. There’s the ever-popular, well-known starfish, shaped of course like a star, and the jellyfish with “no bones, no brain, no heart, no ears,” that is actually shaped like a bell. So many shapes to see in the sea and all around us, too.
Janina Rossiter’s picture book story, Diamonds, Hearts & Sea Stars! A picture book about shapes found in the ocean (Early Childhood Concepts 3), is a great way to introduce young readers to shapes, the basics of geometry. Told in rhyming verse, the author introduces each sea creature with some interesting facts about it, points out the geometric shapes that identify the sea creature, and concludes with reasons why it’s important to protect each of these creatures. She takes readers on a magical journey to the sea and the creatures that live there. With mostly blue-tinged illustrations, the concepts are well presented and, whilst teaching young readers about the sea creatures, she also points out how they each represent a specific geometric shape. This helps young readers to become more observant of the world around them and to start looking for these shapes everywhere. A great way to teach mathematical concepts.