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City Shapes

City Shapes

By Diana Murray

Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Daily Life and Play, Language Development and Reading: Concepts, Family Life: Neighbors/Neighborhoods

Grades: Pre-K-3rd


Educator Guide Author Essay


From shimmering skyscrapers to fluttering kites to twinkling stars high in the sky, everyday scenes become extraordinary as a young girl walks through her neighborhood noticing exciting new shapes at every turn. Far more than a simple concept book, City Shapes is an explosion of life. Diana Murray’s richly crafted yet playful verse encourages readers to discover shapes in the most surprising places, and Bryan Collier’s dynamic collages add even more layers to each scene in this ode to city living.



★ “Rhyming text and brilliant multimedia collage combine to follow a girl’s journey through her beloved city. Part concept book, part love letter to urban beauty, Murray and Collier’s collaboration highlights an African-American girl’s observations about the many shapes she sees in and around her city…  Collier fills every page, allowing art to take up entire double-page spreads, and his distinctive collage technique is particularly well-suited to highlighting the shapes named by the text. He also pushes well beyond merely visually reiterating the items the text lists, and the result is a seamless interdependence of art and text that will allow readers to find the named items while also providing ample visual interest to reward poring over the illustrations. A visual feast of cityscape shapes. ” —Kirkus


★ “Readers are encouraged to view the city as a kaleidoscope of shape and color in this rhyming tour provided by a young girl on the sidewalk and a pigeon soaring above…  Youngsters will eagerly identify squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, ovals, diamonds, and stars in the busy spreads as well as complete each rhyme to reveal the targeted shape…  Children will enjoy studying the illustrations to identify the various shapes as well as the scattered collage photos of greenery, people, buildings, and cars.” —School Library Journal