Wednesday by Anne Bertier, translated by Claudia Z. Bedrick
“Every Wednesday, Little Round and Big Square get together to play their favorite game,” the story begins. “As soon as one of them says a word, they transform themselves into it.” Since one is Round, the other Square, their shapes are uniquely different as they parcel into smaller shapes and reassemble as something new. Each separates in half to make a butterfly: Big Square’s is more like an angular Monarch, Little Round’s more like a curvier Danis. They split further until Big Square’s flower is a magnificent dahlia, Little Round’s a demure chrysanthemum. Then Big Square’s mushroom morphs into a towering Verpa, and Little Round’s just a button.
Big Square is clearly on a roll, scattering and reordering himself as a fence, a kite, the sea and sky, waves and mountains. “‘I can’t do that,’ sighs Little Round. ‘I’m too little.'” His protests go unheard while Big Square shows off … until Little Round refuses to play: “Each goes into its own corner.” But then Little Round has a cleverly cooperative idea that they can enjoy together: Big Square stretches himself very tall while Little Round hovers above, and suddenly they are an inseparable ‘i’! Pretty soon, they’ve become a clown, a boat, a truck, a bouquet, even ice cream – all things they could never be on their own. And so their creations grow. Testimony to the unlimited power of cooperation and friendship, indeed.
Imagination reigns supreme here. Simply brilliant imagination. If this wasn’t a kiddie-oriented post on a family-friendly blog, I’d have some choice #$*&! words of appreciative shock. So parents: you’ve seen endless books featuring shapes (colors, letters, numbers, too), the majority of which are just same old, same old. Thanks to splendiferously discerning indie publisher Enchanted Lion Books (whose inspiring founder Claudia Z. Bedrick is also an accomplished translator), this is something completely original … so much so that maybe I can be allowed at least a single O-M-G.
Published: 2010, 2014 (United States)