Circle Square Moose

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Circle Square Moose Book Poster Image
More zany fun as Moose muscles in on book about shapes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Lots of everyday examples of shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, curve, star. 

Positive Messages

You can find examples of shapes all around you if you just look for them. True friends are there for you -- "Friends to the end'' --  no matter how crazy and mixed up things get.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

Moose is fun-loving, creative, and exuberant, even though he butts in, steals food, and messes things up. He's also a good "friend to the end" for Moose. Zebra tries to keep order but remains flexible as things unravel and politely thanks Moose for finishing the book and giving him a star, his favorite shape. The narrator is frustrated and impatient and finally gives up, saying, "That's it. I'm done. Goodbye. You can finish this book YOURSELVES."

Violence & Scariness

Zebra gets tangled up in a ribbon, but Moose saves him.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kelly Bingham's Circle Square Moose is a book about shapes and the follow-up to the hilarious alphabet book Z Is for Moose. As in the first book, silly Moose intrudes on the narration to make the book all about him. And rule-following Zebra tries to control Moose's self-serving antics and restore order. It's a zany romp with clever, funny illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky and solid examples of shapes in the real world that may stick with kids amid all the giggles. 

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What's the story?

Just as he did in Z Is for Moose, buttinsky Moose (with his cat sidekick) just has to interrupt as the narrator identifies shapes and their real-world examples, such as circle and button, sandwich and square. First intrusion: Moose eats the sandwich. "Cute, but this is not an animal book," says the narrator. "It's a shape book. You both have to leave." But they don't. Soon Zebra, the referee from the previous book, shows up and says, "I'll handle this," and chases Moose across the pages, passing examples of shapes along the way (a picture frame, bathroom tile, and a checkers board for square; polka dots, a lollipop, and the sun for circle). Things get really crazy when they fall through a hole into outer space and find the last shape: a star. 

Is it any good?

CIRCLE SQUARE MOOSE is wild and wacky like the previous Z Is for Moose and reprises some of its characters, such as the queen (who has diamonds in her crown) and the chaos-controlling Zebra. The Moose-Zebra friendship deepens, and underneath all the zaniness, there's solid information about shapes and where we see them in our world. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about shapes. What things in the real world are the shape of a circle, a square, and a triangle?

  • Are funny books better than serious books? What's a favorite funny book you've read? What made it so good, the story or the character?

  • Do you know anyone like Moose, who's always acting silly and butting in? Do you like him or her anyway?

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