REVIEW: Shapes Colours Numbers by Dario Zeruto

Shapes Colours Numbers by Matthew Morgan

Shapes Colours Numbers is unlike any other book I have worked on. Sleek, stylish and simple, the first copies arrived from the printer like interplanetary play things, and my own experience of reading the book to my two-year-old daughter has been refreshing, unfussy and fun.

The book is the work of Dario Zeruto, a master paper engineer and teacher who’s Italian-born but based in Barcelona. His own creative journey has included a formal education in mechanical engineering, self-taught studies in textile production, a love of paper craft and the development of the book as an art form in its own right. The idea came out of a series of Skype conversations with him in which we tried to work out a way of harnessing this knowledge and experience in a publishable book that would engage small children in simple concepts: something beautiful and playful. Something unique.

The result, Shapes Colours Numbers, is a book that is part-toy, part-learning aid, which demands to be touched, played with, chewed and discussed. The instructions are deliberately simple: “Simply open the book and start to play!” So too the single question that opens the book: “How many shapes and colours can you find inside?” Inside there are no words; just turn the gatefold pages and count the shapes and colours you see. One red square… two blue triangles… three green squares… two yellow circles and three diamonds…

Shapes Colours Numbers is just one of a series of innovative preschool titles on the growing words & pictures list. Check out the sumptuous 5 Wild Numbers (with Bella Gomez) and the entertaining Slide and See series (with Olivier Latyk and Deborah Van De Leigraaf) also out this year. They all depend on collaborations with makers and creatives like Dario Zeruto, but none would be possible without our brilliant in-house team of paper engineers and production specialists who have years of experience making a whole range of books plus products.

So if you have a small child and think, like me, that books should be as unique, fun and playful as we can make them, then give Shapes Colours Numbers a go yourself.

Parents in Touch Review

Open the slipcase on this unusual book and you will find a book split into two halves; as you flip the pages over, a world of simple coloured shapes emerges. Open the flaps and count the shapes one by one; name the shape and the colour then play with the flaps to create your own combinations. Apart from the instruction to explore, the book is wordless, ensuring children are totally focused on the shapes and colours. There is also a tactile element as the pages are textured and the shapes are indented to encourage exploration. A lovely introduction to colour and shape.

The publishers, Words and Pictures, say their books “encapsulate three main focuses: Imagination – because opening a book should also open a child’s own imagination to possibilities; Innovation – because children should be encouraged to create, not imitate; and Inspiration – because books should make children want more: more books, more information, more of life itself. Good books inspire. Words and Pictures represents a powerful and positive opportunity to open children’s minds to a world of discovery.”

Look out for our May giveaways as we have 3 copies to be won!

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