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Werner Zimmermann.
Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press, 1990.
24pp., cloth, $9.95.
ISBN 0-19-540744-X. Alphonse Knows series. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Form perception-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7

Reviewed by Gwen Maguire.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

This is the first in a series of concept books written and illustrated by H. Werner Zimmermann. The author uses a delightfully funny artist, Alphonse, to help children learn the mathematical concept of different shapes. It's almost Valentine's Day, and a very confident Alphonse presents his first finished painting of the perfect valentine to his dear friend, a mouse. The mouse shakes his head vigorously and Alphonse responds: "What do you mean, it's not a Valentine? What is it?" He realizes he has been silly and inadvertently painted a red square.

Children will thoroughly enjoy the clear, bright and funny illustrations of Alphonse racking his brain trying to paint the correct shape. After two more attempts, Alphonse looks at mouse with a tear in his eye and asks, "How can I show you how I feel?" In response, the mouse solves the problem for the confused artist and paints the beautiful red heart himself.

The simple and straight-forward language of the text is enhanced and enriched by the skilful, vibrant and amusing illustrations. The vivid red against a mostly white background makes it easy for children to identify and discriminate between the various different geometric shapes. This book is an excellent choice for reading any time but most especially on Valentine's Day.

Gwen Maguire, St. John's, NF.
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