There’s something special about a book cover that has no text on it. It may well be the eyes. Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier, stands out as the larger-than-life portrait of Dr. King emits radiant life through his smile and eyes. Similarly, Jerry Pinkney’s Lion and Mouse depicts a lion’s strength – and ultimate downfall – through reproachful yet alert eyes.
It stands to reason, then, that there would never be any text on the cover of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s latest collaboration, Triangle. Because Klassen is, if anything, the master of the picture book eye. With a (not-so) simple dot, he lets readers know how characters feel and think. Paired with Barnett’s always-unique storyline, this hotly-anticipated book didn’t disappoint.
Triangle by Mac Barnett, pictures by Jon Klassen
Triangle lives in the land of triangles: triangle-shaped house, door, even art. Wide eyed, he gives an innocent vibe. But don’t be fooled: he is a sneaky fellow and, one day, sets off to play a delightful trick on his friend Square. Square, seeking revenge, chases Triangle back to his house. Readers will delight in predicting Square’s predicament of not fitting through Triangle’s door and inferring whether Square’s intentions were to play a similar sneaky trick on Triangle. Square’s legs and – yes – eyes give it away: he is a square, after all. The first in a planned trilogy (lucky us!), Barnett continues to create inventive, unique storylines and, paired with Klassen, he’s at his best. Highly recommended. Share with ages 3+.
The case design stands out, too: a board over paper cover, with rounded corners and heavier-than-average stock pages sewn into the binding. With no dust jacket, there is no chance to a peek underneath for any additional insight into the mind or actions of either character. A well-played choice.
Let’s circle back (pun intended) to Martin’s Big Words and Lion and Mouse. The two covers shown earlier were upon initial publication. Today, however, they look like this:
People – librarians, booksellers, teachers, students – saw something in those eyes. They stood out. Were memorable. Impactful. One can only speculate if Triangle will join their esteemed ranks.
One thing is for sure: kids won’t be able to take their eyes off this one!
Triangle was published March 14, 2017 in both the US and the UK
Cheers, y’all! 🙂 arika