Books are one of the best medium to introduce new concepts to young children. Here I share eight of my favourite books on shapes that I love to use in class to teach shapes to preschoolers.
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1. So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban
This book is filled with a wonderful collection of photographs of circle and square objects. The book helps to encourage children to spot circles and squares in their everyday environment. This book has no text and thus it is very interactive because you can talk about the photographs in so many different ways (e.g. to look for the shapes, to count, talk about color, relating the objects to own personal experiences, etc.) It is a great book for young children to 'read' on their own.
2. Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
Another interactive book by the same author. This one covers various other shapes like circle, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, oval, heart, star and hexagon. Children will discover that there are many shapes to be found on buildings, towers, food, vehicles, lunchbox and other items.
3. When a Line Bends….A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene
This book shows how shapes are created simply by bending a line. It touches on various shapes like circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, oval, star, crescent, heart and octagon. The illustrations are colorful and the rhyming texts make it ideal for young readers. One example of an extension activity you can do with your students after reading this book is for them to try to create different shapes using strings or dough.
4. Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
This book has cut out shapes on the pages to show different animal faces. It covers 9 shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, diamond, heart, octagon and hexagon). It is a wonderful book to learn about shapes, colors and animals like mouse, tiger, monkey, fox, etc.).
5. Color Farm by Lois Ehlert
This book is a follow up from Lois Ehlert and it has the same style with cut out shapes on the pages. Only this book shows different farm animals like chicken, goose, dog, etc.
6. Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsch
This lovely story is about three little mice who find a cluster of colorful shapes as they try to hide from a cat. The mice got really creative with the shapes and created many different things like a house, a tree, a wagon and other things. They even try to use the shapes to create something to scare the cat away. This book is great as an introduction to art activities on shapes such as shapes collage or to be paired with shape blocks for the children to create their own shapes images just like the mice in the story.
7. Shape by Shape by Suze McDonald
This book shows a series of shapes. Each page shows a different shape that is cut out of the paper and all the shapes come together at the end to reveal a mystery animal (probably not so mysterious because you can guess it from the cover). It is a fun, brightly colored book that young children will love and it is great for reviewing shapes.
8. The Perfect Square by Michael Hall
This is an inspiring book about a square. It shows how a perfect square is transformed into many different things like fountain, mountain, river, garden, etc. through different techniques such as cutting it up, punching it with holes, shredding it, etc. Every page from the book can be used as an inspiration for an art project with your children or students.
There you go! Eight books that I think are the best to use to teach shapes to your preschoolers. I hope it gives you some ideas on some books you can get for your class.