Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes

by Roseanne Greenfield Thong (Author) John Parra (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In this lively picture book, children discover a world of shapes all around them: rectangles are ice-cream carts and stone metates, triangles are slices of watermelon and quesadillas.

Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the shapes found in every child's day!

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School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--This picture book in rhyme focuses on everyday things-a square for a park, a round pot of stew, a rectangle for the scoreboard at the baseball game. All of the shapes and activities reflect Hispanic culture-stars are for parties and the celebration depicted is a fiesta. Round is a sombrero; squares are ventanas, or windows; and triangles are for chips and guacamole. Some of the shapes appear on two spreads, some have one, but all end with the refrain: "how many more... can you find?" The realistic illustrations feature lots of people of various ages. The paintings are colorful and lend a sense of movement and joy to the activities. The Spanish words are integral to the story but will be clear from context to non-Spanish speakers. This is a lovely book for teaching and sharing shapes within a culture or for just the concepts themselves. It is also a terrific title about family, fun, and sharing.--Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

A girl discovers that shapes are everywhere in this companion to Round Is a Mooncake. Spanish vocabulary words are sprinkled throughout rhyming, reader-directed verse: "Stone metates inside our casa/ help us grind our corn to masa./ Rectangles are flags that fly/ above the scoreboard, way up high./ How many rectangles do you spy?" Parra's thick paintings have a rough, weathered wood-grain texture, and his figures--with their serene facial expressions and rosy cheeks--resemble Mexican folk-art dolls. Whimsical elements like a mermaid in the bay and celestial ornaments dangling from an avocado tree add pizzazz to this poetic ode to shapes. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency. (Apr.)

Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Poetic ode to shapes." - Publishers Weekly
Roseanne Greenfield Thong
John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, artist, educator, and designer. His illustrations are featured in When Thunder Comes by J. Patrick Lewis. His Hispanic roots and heritage provide a rich cultural palette of inspiring imagery and customs. He lives in Jamaica, New York.

Roseanne Greenfield Thong is a journalist and English teacher. She is the author of Round Is a Mooncake, Red Is a Dragon, One Is a Drummer, and Wish. She lives in Fountain Valley, California.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Chronicle Books
Publication date
March 19, 2013
BISAC categories
JUV000000 - Juvenile Fiction | General
Library of Congress categories
Stories in rhyme
Hispanic Americans
Hispanic American children
Form perception
Texas 2x2 Reading List
Recommended 2014 - 2014
Americas Award for Children & Young Adult Literature
Commended 2014 - 2014

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