Local Baltimore mom and illustrator Joyce Hesselberth is a marvelous artist. Her whimsical illustrations have appeared in national ad campaigns, theater productions, and numerous major newspapers and magazines.

… and now, they appear in her very own book. 

Hitting bookstores last week, Shape Shift is already winning accolades from School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.

Shape Shift - All about the book by Joyce Hesselberth + a fun craft! - (cool) progenyShape Shift - All about the book by Joyce Hesselberth + a fun craft! - (cool) progeny

The concept was easy for her to develop. As an artist, playing with shapes was something Joyce does every day.  Round, curvy, pointy, or straight. She has even created an app all about finding shapes in art.

Because really, shapes are all around us. (Don’t you hear the theme from Love Actually when you read that?).

But Shape Shift is not your traditional shape book. It encourages kids to think beyond shape identification and use shapes to create. It’s like a geometric/architectural/artistic adventure all rolled into one beautifully illustrated book. Imagination stimulation! 

“Hesselberth encourages children not just to recognize shapes but to see their potential as creative building blocks,” says Publishers Weekly

Joyce was kind enough to come over and share her new book with us… and even stayed to show us a fun shape collage craft. Our Little Guy is still amazed that a rectangle can ‘turn into a cat.’

Wearing a hat and heels, of course. It wouldn’t be a Joyce original without a fanciful infusion.

What will your kids be inspired to create?

Shape Shift - All about the book by Joyce Hesselberth + a fun craft! - (cool) progenyShape Shift - All about the book by Joyce Hesselberth + a fun craft! - (cool) progeny

shape shift: create your own shape collage!

A super easy, keep ’em busy activity. Not to mention perfect for beating cabin fever…

what’s you’ll need

  • variety of paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • cardstock
  • markers/crayons

steps

Prep the activity for little kids by cutting different shapes out of a variety of papers. Older kids? They can probably cut the shapes themselves.

Put the shapes in piles on the table and let the kids go nuts! What can they create from a circle? What if they added a rectangle to their picture? Have them arrange shapes and then glue.

Add finishing touches and details to their shape masterpieces with crayons or markers!

Shape Shift - All about the book by Joyce Hesselberth + a fun craft! - (cool) progeny

want to meet joyce in person?

She’ll be signing copies of her new book and making shape collages at aMuse Toys Quarry Lake on Sunday, January 23rd. You can RSVP for either the 11 AM or 11:45 AM FREE craft and reading sessions! (Snow date is January 31st)

buy the book

Grab a copy of the book from your favorite independent book store, aMuse Toys,  or through Amazon. Kindle version available, too!

 

 

Editor’s Notes: Photography by Laura Black. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.