Children’s Book Review – Watch This!

Cover Image for Watch This!

Watch This! by Hilary Walker, Jane Godwin, and Beci Orpin

This book was Notable for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.

Can you make a circle with your arms? Or a triangle with your fingers? If we work together, we can make a rectangle, or even a pyramid. We can make lots and lots of shapes – just watch this!

Shapes…triangles, rectangles, circles, squares…there are so many shapes and most of them live in the world around us. We see hexagons in beehives and circles in our eyes.

Shapes fall under the mathematical discipline of geometry and they are one of those things that we talk about a lot with small children. When I was a teacher one of the things we would do when talking about shapes was to go out and find these shapes in nature, the playground, or the classroom. We would also use our body. How many circles can you count on your partner’s head was always a fun activity and surprising for so many children as there is not always a connection between the idea of a plate as a circle and an iris as a circle.

That is the same idea that this book captures wonderfully.

At the very beginning we are introduced by picture and name to a group of 12 children. These children then spend the book making shapes with their bodies. We see triangles made with fingers and a triangle with bodies. The book is made up of pictures, with some explanations and some questions asking the reader to identify the shapes. The pictures do a great job of showing the shapes but also capturing the flexibility in the shapes – for example the circle is a little wavy and bumpy but it’s developmentally perfect for children of the age depicted. It also displays the different types of shapes contained within a word – there are triangles with equal sides and ones with right angles and ones with long sides and short sides.

This is a great book for sharing with very young children and a great way to introduce them to the idea of non-fiction books or information books. Children can see themselves in the pictures with a range of models used but also because the characters on the page are children. Then children can use their bodies to make shapes and see how they connect to geometry.

I would share this book with children of any age and if I was still teaching this is definitely a book I would take into school with me for kindy through to year 2s or 3s. We have lots of books about shapes and have written a few Storytime and Pram Jam posts abut them: David’s Pram Jams post, David’s other Pram Jams post and Karen’s Storytime post.