“‘There is one more rule,’ said Circle. ‘No hiding behind the waterfall.’ ”

Circle has her reasons for the rule in the marvelously simple and beautifully illustrated children’s book, Circle (Candlewick Press), the third book in the clever shape trilogy by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. It’s been called “wry and resonant,” with pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, written for ages 5 to 9.

Circle has a waterfall, and decides to play a game with Triangle and Square near the waterfall. “ ‘Here are the rules,’ Circle said. ‘I will close my eyes and count to ten. You must hide somewhere. When I open my eyes, I will try to find you.’ ”

With, of course, the stipulation that you can’t go behind the waterfall.

After counting to ten and opening her eyes, Circle found that  “ ‘Square was just standing there. He pointed and said, ‘Triangle went behind the waterfall.’ “ And so begins Circle’s efforts to rescue her friend, who didn’t follow the rules. Why did Circle set the rule? She must have had some reason for telling her friends not to hide behind the waterfall.

Barnett and Klassen have made six books together: The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse, which won an E.B. White Read Aloud Award and was an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year; Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, which won a Caldecott Honor and an E.B. White Read Aloud Award; Extra Yarn, which won a Caldecott Honor, an E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; Triangle; Square; and now Circle.

Circle will be available March 5.

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