All Year Round by Susan B. Katz, illustrated by Eiko Ojala [in Booklist]
“Circle round, / ready to roll. / Add two sticks, / a carrot, and coal” reads January’s spread, which depicts a snowman being built with a whole lot of circle shapes. In May, a square planter holds flowers under spring showers. In September, a red octagon stops the traffic as the children cross a street on their way back to school.
Month by month, Katz’s singsongy text rings rather predictably but benefits significantly from illustrator Ojala’s bright, digitally manipulated art, ideal for enhancing colors and shapes. Ojala even gives the puppy an ongoing narrative of his own, protecting his own snowball, enjoying a breezy bike ride, discovering his swimming-pool reflection, and waiting for an ice-cream cone to drip right into his mouth. Rare is the book that can teach seasons, months, shapes, and colors all at once.