Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: The beginning of letter knowledge, one of the six early literacy skills, is seeing and recognizing shapes. Researchers have found that children learn to recognize letters by their shapes. I'll be pointing out some ways that you can use books to talk about shapes.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Our next book is Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert. It is really fascinating how you can see the animals just using basic shapes. What animals do you see? Sharing books with stark shapes like this is a first step to recognizing letters later. Read the book. Talk about the shapes as well as the animals. The back of the book are the separate shapes which you can also point out or refer to from time to time as you read the book.
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: This is quite a sophisticated book and can be used in many ways with very young children and also as your children get older. Start with simply noticing shapes and bright colors and your older children can make animals from shapes themselves.