Circle dogs live with their family in a square house with a square yard, eat circle snacks, and dig circle holes. Created by popular children’s author/illustrator duo Kevin Henkes and Dan Yaccarino, Circle Dogs provides a fun lesson in shapes wrapped within a story about two fun-loving dachshunds, referred to as “circle dogs” because they twist themselves into circles when they sleep. The story takes place over a day in the life of the circle dogs and their family: they wake up in the morning, along with the sun, alarm, baby and birds; kiss their family members; play; eat; nap; eat, and go to bed for the night. Dan Yaccarino’s artwork has shades of Lane Smith’s retro feel here; his brightly colored gouache pictures look like cutouts on white space and will attract a young reader’s attention with his contrasting colors. The bold text is black on lighter spaces and white against black spaces, standing out and making reading easy.
This concept book provides a great opportunity for a read-aloud on shapes. The book invites interactive reading by using repetitive sounds to communicate the dogs’ day: their tags go clink-clank, their tails flip-flap and swish, swoosh, and they eat their dog food with a kibble-clatter, kibble nibble. Circles, squares and triangles are easily identifiable and plentiful throughout. This would be a great opportunity to use a felt board with shapes for young audiences to identify and create pictures with – a square can be a house, a sandwich, a window; a circle can be a sun, a face, or a table; a triangle can be an ice cream cone, a hat, or a dog’s ear, as in Circle Dogs. The DLTK website offer a Shapes Buddies webpage with printables including a Shapes Bingo game and Buddy Shapes to color.
The author’s webpage offers information about more of his books, plus downloadable guides and printables for parents and teachers.