I’ll admit, I thought twice about counting this as a legitimate 95 books book review. But after thinking about it again and again over the last 24 hours (since my husband asked last night, “what’s that Yellow Square book on the shelf all about?”), I figured, what the hell?
When I set out to write this post, I decided I was going to conclude by saying that I didn’t like it and wouldn’t recommend it. I was going to write how I didn’t think it had value for children, I didn’t know who it was written for (“all ages” is a cop-out”), it doesn’t teach anything, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s just kind of pretty.
Then I actually started writing this post. And I kept finding myself challenging my conclusions. Do children’s books have to teach? Am I just looking for a formulaic children’s book and that’s why I don’t like this one? Is my aversion to this book related to the fact that it just doesn’t fit nicely into the “children’s book” category in my head? Guilty.
Yellow Square is a beautiful book. As a former book designer myself, I can appreciate the intricate die-cuts, the interactive pulls, twirls and slides and the idea of the whole book. The first line is “Paper noodles wrestle and a yellow square.” I can just see that fight going down in my soup bowl. The last line in the book is ”Square tubes bloom and a yellow square.” I can see the paper flowers that my nephew brings home from school for his mom after days of work leading up to mother’s day. This book teases you to think creatively, to imagine quirky metaphors, to think abstractly, to indulge in the playfulness of simple shapes.
Yellow Square forces you to think outside the box.
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