John Canty: Shapes and Colours

Illustrated by the author

Published by Berbay Publishing Pty Ltd, Victoria, 2020

Colours and shapes give meaning and dimension to our world. Teaching young children the differences between colours and identifying them by name, as well as learning what happens when you mix colours together, is one of the many joys of parenting. Encouraging young children to see shapes in the world around them can also help to advance their mathematical and scientific journey of discovery.

All the colours of the rainbow are reflected in our world. In this picture book, we start with the colour red and see a double page spread of silhouetted objects. Your job is to identify them. Some are easy to guess, some a little harder. Turning the page, those same objects are illustrated in glorious detail. A glossy apple, twin cherries, a red balloon, a juicy strawberry and a big red fire engine. Did you match the shapes to the right objects? Can you think of other things that are red?

Orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet hues are illustrated in the following pages and we are encouraged to find those colours in the shapes of objects and animals on the next page and all around us. This picture book is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers. Whilst you are busy playing the guessing game, you are also encouraging the use of language, developing memory skills, and naming and identifying objects by colour and shape.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 2-4 years and below there are more suggestions for picture books that delve into shapes and colours:

Red House Blue
House Green House
by Jane Godwin
Illustrated by Jane Reiseger

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Maisy’s First Colours
by Lucy Cousins

All the Colors I See
by Allegra Agliardi

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Beth Krommes

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Spot’s Colours, Shapes and Numbers by Eric Hill

Little Cloud by Eric Carle

Friendshape by
Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Watch This!
A book about making shapes
by Jane Godwin
with Beci Orpin and Hilary Walker