Round is a Tortilla / Las tortillas son redondas

This Month’s Book: Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes

This month’s book takes us on an exploration of shapes as we journey through a community in Mexico. Each page features melodic rhyming text by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, while the illustrations by John Parra portray beautiful scenes filled with lively music, delectable food, loving families, vivid colors, and of course, shapes!

Round are tortillas and tacos, too. Round is a pot of abuela’s stew.  I can name more round things.
Can you?
Shapes can be found every day and everywhere in the environment. Round is a Tortilla will inspire you and your child to discover shapes in your own community!

TalkInvite your child to go on a shape hunt with you! If possible, allow your child to have tactile experiences with 3D shapes found in your home.

  • Play a game of I Spy! What shape is a paper towel roll? A cylinder! Look through the circle on the end, like a spyglass, and look for more shapes! Encourage your child to say the I Spy rhyme and tell you about the shapes they find.

“I spy with my little eye something square with four even sides. It’s the book, Round is a Tortilla!”

  • Discover shapes together in the kitchen! Circles can be found in plates, cups, and tortillas! Are there rectangles and other shapes hiding inside the cabinets?
  • Ask your child, what does an oval look like? What does an oval feel like? Let your child hold an egg and find out!

As you go about your day, discover shapes outside your home! Can you find shapes at the grocery store? Are there shapes on the bus, or other vehicles? For example:

  • “I spy with my little eye, circles on the bus. It’s the wheels on the bus! The wheels on the bus go round and round!”

Sing Sing a song about tortillas! Clap your hands as you sing the chanting rhyme. Try singing it in English and Spanish! (Names of children can be substituted for Mom and Dad.)

 Little tortillas for my mom.
Little tortillas for my dad.
The little crispy ones for my mom.
The little round ones for my dad.

Tortillitas para Mamá.
Tortillitas para Papá.
Las tostaditas para Mamá.
Las redonditas para Papá.

ReadActivity 1: Look for shapes in the illustrations! Before opening the book, show the cover and read the title, Round is a Tortilla; ask your child, “What do you see on the cover?” As you read the book, use a sing-song voice to emphasize the rhyming.

Each page in the story is dedicated to a specific shape. Encourage your child to point out the objects as you read about them. Allow time for your child to discover other objects with the same shape, not mentioned in the text. Before turning to the next page, invite your child to draw the shape in the sky using their finger! “Can you show me what the moon in the sky looks like?”

Activity 2: If you are unfamiliar with the Spanish terms, have a look at the glossary in the back of the book, which provides definitions. For instance, a rectangle is represented in the shape of a stone metate, used to “grind our corn to masa.” Explain to your child how a metate works. Talk about all of the definitions. If possible, let your child listen to mariachi music to hear “the trumpets that blare out a tune.”

Activity 3: Discover more books about shapes at your local Pima County Public Library!

  • Mouse Shapes by Ellen Still Walsh
  • Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Perfect Square by Michael Hall
                  Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15th! Let’s celebrate with excellent books written by Hispanic authors:
  • Señor Pancho had a Rancho by René Colato Laínez
  • Let’s eat! !A comer! by Pat Mora
  • Sam the Ant: The Flood by Sam Feldman & Enrique C. Feldman



PlayActivity 1: Shape Sorting! Invite you child make a mess and play with shapes! Cut out soft shapes from felt, foam, or fabric. Toss the shapes in the air and let them fall to the floor, or just spread them out on the floor. Exclaim, “OH NO! Our shapes are all mixed up! Will you help me sort out this mess?” Encourage your child to sort out the shapes and put them in individual piles. Then, put the shapes into an empty shoe box, or paper bag. Play again, but this time, let your child toss the shapes in the air!

Activity 2: Dance the Hokey Pokey! Instead of using body parts, use the 2D shapes from the shape sorting game to dance the Hokey Pokey.

Put your rectangle in. Put your rectangle out.
Put your rectangle in, and shake it all about!
Do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!

Activity 3: Go on a Shapes Picnic! Food is an important feature in the book, Round is a Tortilla. In the story, shapes are found in some of our favorite foods! For example, delicious watermelon and quesadillas are cut into triangle slices! How many different shapes can you eat? If the weather is nice have a picnic outside! If it’s still too hot outside, have an indoor picnic! Let you child contribute ideas for snacks that come in their favorite shapes!

Join the Conversation!

Share your experience with Round is a Tortilla and be entered into a raffle to win next month’s C2C Book Club title! For example, you could:

  • Tell us about your child’s favorite part of the story.
  • Send a video of you sharing the book together, or playing I Spy Shapes.
  • Send a picture of you and your child on a picnic eating delicious shapes!

Share your photos and videos with us on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to tag Make Way for Books. For example:

@mwfbaz I loved reading Round is a Tortilla with my kids. They liked the page with the cold paletas and thought the cat in the book should have a paleta too! #storytime

Or email us your photo or video at

Be creative! We can’t wait to see what you loved about Round is a Tortilla!