The simplest things can bring the greatest pleasure, as small children know intuitively. Newbery Honor poet Joyce Sidman (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night; Winter Bees) and illustrator Taeeun Yoo (Tua and the Elephant) understand this, too, as reflected in their exquisite, perfectly square book about round things. A dark-haired little girl who favors polka-dotted overalls and bare feet (or pink flowered boots) talks about the many wonderful, almost magical attributes of her favorite shape: "I love when round things/ pop up quickly... / and last only a moment," she says, while blowing bubbles in a meadow. And, while counting rings on a tree stump and finding eensy ladybug eggs on a leaf: "I love round things when they're hidden/ and you have to discover them./ Some hold secrets inside./ Some are almost too tiny to see." She even finds herself: "I can be round, too... / in a circle of friends/ with no one left out./ Or, I can curl by myself/ in a warm, round ball."

Yoo's artwork in Round--mixed media with printed texture--is full of warm reds and yellows and soft blues and greens. A white duck, a spotted dog and a man--perhaps her dad--accompany the sphere-seeking girl on every outdoor adventure. Young readers will love finding the round things on each spread: a sunflower's center, a balloon, spots on mushrooms, spirals on a turtle's back. Encircled in her father's arms, the girl completes the cycle with the same words she started with: "I love round things." An author's note explains why so much in nature is round. Lovely. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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