My kids absolutely love it when I or my husband read out loud to them. And I find that they learn so much from all the books we read together. As part of my efforts to teach them about shapes, we have read a number of books about shapes.
In this post I’m sharing 15
fantastic books about shapes. In this selection of books, you’ll find books perfect for introducing toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary students to a variety of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes.
Note: For more ideas and free printables to help kids learn shapes, see my teaching shapes to kids page.
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
This book follows the adventures of Triangle. One day he gets bored and decides to visit a shapeshifter to add another angle to his shape. He first becomes a quadrilateral, than a pentagon, then a hexagon, and so on. As children follow Triangle through his shapeshifting adventures, they learn about different shapes in a clever and engaging manner. The book also includes a section for adults with suggestions for teaching basic geometry concepts to children.
Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
This delightful book follows three little mice as they hide from a cat among a group of shapes. Eventually the mice use the shapes to create all manner of clever images including a house, a wagon, and even a cat! This book is perfect for pairing with pattern blocks or other shape based toys that will allow children to create their own shape-based images like the mice in the story.
So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban
The excellent photography in this book will encourage children to see circles and squares in all manner of objects, like dishwashers, teapots, oranges, tires, and more! The book is wordless, making it perfect for young children to engage with all on their own. After reading this book, children are sure to begin spotting circles and squares all around in their everyday environment!
Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
Another selection from Tana Hoban, the striking photos in this wordless concept book will help young readers develop an awareness of and appreciation for the beauty everyday objects all around us. Shapes, Shapes, Shapes utilizes photos of urban landscapes, portraits, and still life to show letters, numbers, colors, opposites, and more. Children will be delighted to discover just how many shapes can be found in an open lunchbox or a hard-boiled egg.
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
This 1990 winner of the Caldecott Medal continues to delight young readers to this day. Color Zoo features a very unique and clever design. Each page has a cutout such that stacking the pages together creates the image of an animal. Then, as each page is turned, a new animal is revealed. For example, a tiger’s face disappears to reveal a mouse, which disappears to reveal a fox. Further, the book includes labels for each cutout shape to help children identify them.
Color Farm by Lois Ehlert
Color Farm is Lois Ehlert’s follow up to the very creative and beautiful Color Zoo. This book is designed with cutouts similar to Color Zoo, but this time with a focus on farm animals. Again, turning each page reveals a new animal on one side and a description of a shape on the other.
Flip-a Shape: Go! by SAMi
Young children will enjoy watching as one objects into another in this story. For example, a turn of the page turns a tractor into a boat and an ice cream cone into a carrot. The bold colors will entice young readers to engage with circles, triangles, squares, ovals, rectangles, and crescents.
When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene
This book provides a clever and fun introduction to 10 different shapes that include squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, circles, ovals, stars, crescents, hearts and octagons. The upbeat, rhyming text and colorful illustrations show children how shapes are created simply by bending a line. Young readers will delight in finding the shapes on each spread.
Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong
The rhyming text in this book introduces shapes to young readers through the eyes of a young Chinese-American girl. As the narrator provides a tour of the shapes in her neighborhood, she also provides the reader a wonderful window into Chinese culture. A short glossary explains the cultural significance of the objects featured in the book, including mooncakes, dim sum, lucky money, and name chops.
A Star in My Orange: Looking for Nature’s Shapes by Dana Meachen Rau
While many shapes books focus on basic geometric shapes, this book uses simple language and beautiful photographs to highlight the many shapes and patterns in the natural world. For example, the author starts with stars in the sky, but then finds stars in an orange, starfish, and snowflake as well. Because the shapes she discusses are not quite as basic or obvious as circles and squares, this book might be best enjoyed by slightly older children who already have a very firm grasp on the basic shapes. Nonetheless, readers of all ages will appreciate the beautiful images.
A Circle Here, A Square There: My Shapes Book by David Diehl
Using simple text and colorful illustrations, this book will engage young readers in exploring shapes. Each page features a different shape, and the book shows how everyday objects are comprised of many basic shapes, such as a triangle slice of pizza or a square gift wrapped in colorful paper.
Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald
This book features brightly colored die cut pages, each with a different shape. As young readers turn the pages, shapes are revealed piece by piece, with circles as eyes and triangles as scales. Eventually, the shapes come together and a colorful and friendly-looking dinosaur emerges!
Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy
This book from the MathStart series follows Captain Invincible and his space-dog, Comet, as they travel through the universe. Along the way, they encounter a variety of space dangers. Fortunately, they are able to use their Space Shaper panel to release three-dimensional shapes suited for battling each obstacle they encounter along their journey. This is one of the few books that focus on dimensional shapes (e.g., cone, pyramid) rather than plane shapes.
If You Were a Polygon by Marcie Aboff
This book teaches kids facts about polygons using creative, kid-friendly examples, simple text, and inviting illustrations. For example, the book reads “If you were a polygon, you would be a flat, closed figure with three or more sides. All your sides would be straight.” The accompanying illustration shows several tables that are polygons and several tables that are not polygons in order to underscore the point made in the text.
Ship Shapes by Stella Blackstone
With beautiful patchwork illustrations and simple text, this book introduces children to nine different shapes that they will encounter throughout the book. The story follows two children and their dog on a seafaring adventure. As the characters encounter pirate ships, sea monsters, and more, young readers are invited to to count triangles, identify squares, and dive further in to learning about shapes.
More resources for learning shapes
More shapes posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- 20 ideas for teaching shapes
- Magic disappearing shapes
- Trace the shapes art and fine motor activity
- How many ways to make a shape?
- Sand shapes
- Exploring 3D shapes through play
- 3D shapes graphing game