"Four Little Corners" – 4 Valuable Lessons from the Book

18 December, 2019
"Four Little Corners" is a book that every child should read and reflect on. If you're looking for a way to teach your child about values, this is a wonderful option.

Jerome Ruillier’s Four Little Corners is a book that should be read and taught in schools and preschools around the world. It’s a short, simple, and highly visual story that offers a lot in a very short time, including some math concepts.

The story’s characters are actually geometric shapes. All the shapes but one are circles, known as the Little Circles, with the lone square, called Little Square, serving as the protagonist.

This story follows Little Square, who loves to play with his friends the Little Circles. They always get along and have a good time together. But one day, a problem arises: they need to enter a big house.

Four Little Corners teaches some very important lessons about values. Let’s take a look at these lessons in order to understand why this book is an absolute gem of children’s literature.

Don’t give up when faced with adversity

When Little Square wants to enter the big house with his friends the Little Circles, they encounter a problem, which provides the story’s center. Little Square discovers that he can’t enter the house because the door is round.

In other words, his corners prevent him from passing through. This is what makes him different from the others.

The importance of friendship in Four Little Corners

Already inside the house, the Little Circles continue to encourage Little Square. They also give him ideas, which they believe to be the best ways to help their friend.

They ask him to be round. Little Square tries with all his might, but doesn’t succeed. In fact, it hurts him. His friends continue to try to help. Each offers advice they think will solve the problem.

Since they stay with him the entire time, Little Square feels protected. The friends continue to try to find the solution together.

Teamwork is essential

Finally, after much discussion, the circles realize the problem doesn’t lie with their friend but with the door of the house. They keep talking the entire time about what they can do to help Little Square. It’s a great demonstration of teamwork.

After a lot of time spent chatting, they arrive at the solution. They decide to cut out the round door, removing the “four little corners of nothing,” making the circular passage into a square. Little Square can finally join everyone in the big house.

Accepting others: another lesson in Four Little Corners

Four Little Corners is a beautiful little story that teaches the value of acceptance, making us reflect on its importance from the outset. Ruillier subtly tells the story and weaves in a thoughtful metaphor about inclusiveness.

The story makes us reflect on how society needs to make necessary changes to include those who are different.

The book teaches us about the kinds of social conflict that can come with diversity. We can clearly see the consequences of discrimination, which often put those seeking to integrate in desperate situations.

Four little corners page

“I’m round, I’m round…”

–Little Square–

Ruillier also supplies the book’s illustrations, drawings of geometric shapes including circles of different colors (the Little Circles) and a purple square (Little Square). In the end, these simple shapes become real characters. Readers can empathize with what they feel and even imagine them with facial expressions.

With such simple illustrations, the author manages to tell a story that deals with a serious social problem. It’s a great way to bring up this topic to children. Thanks to its basic symbolic language, the story can be applied to a number of real-world contexts.

Four Little Corners is recommended for children over the age of one, and should be an essential part of any children’s library.

Even though your kids read at school, you can still use books to develop certain ideas and concepts at home. What’s more, children love re-reading their favorite books over and over again.

  • Ruiller, J. (2014). Por cuatro esquinitas de nada. Editorial Juventud S.A.