Tommaso and the Missing Line

Overview

ON THE DAY the strange thing happens—the day his line goes missing—Tommaso knows what he must do: find it. It’s the line on the drawing he puts in his pocket every day, the line he drew of the hill by his nonna’s house, and he knows he must find that very one.

Is that it there in the curl of the cat’s tail? No. Is it there in the antenna of the car? No, not it. It suddenly dawns on Tommaso whom to ask: Nonna. Nonna will know.

In a spare story ...

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Overview

ON THE DAY the strange thing happens—the day his line goes missing—Tommaso knows what he must do: find it. It’s the line on the drawing he puts in his pocket every day, the line he drew of the hill by his nonna’s house, and he knows he must find that very one.

Is that it there in the curl of the cat’s tail? No. Is it there in the antenna of the car? No, not it. It suddenly dawns on Tommaso whom to ask: Nonna. Nonna will know.

In a spare story with a fable-like tone, Matteo Pericoli takes us through an Italian landscape in search of Tommaso’s line—and in doing so brings us along on a journey of discovery. Exquisitely detailed black-and-white art is punctuated by a bright ribbon of orange: Tommaso’s missing line (or is it?).

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2008:
"Each opening of the book is elegant, balanced and draws readers in. A gem."

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly

When a line mysteriously vanishes from his favorite drawing, Tommaso hunts it down, and he discovers that while lines are indeed everywhere, it's the significance and sensibility he infuses in his line that make it all his own. Or, to put it another way, Tommaso discovers what it means to be an artist. As in previous books, Pericoli (The True Story of Stellina) demonstrates remarkable draftsmanship and a vivid eye for detail and perspective; the mostly black-and-white pictures combine the elegant extravagance of architectural engravings with the playfulness and spontaneity of a great doodle. The Italian setting adds to the charm, and children will enjoy seeing the foreign-language store signs, the Roman columns, etc. The design is striking: initially, as Tommaso searches for the missing line, Pericoli asks readers to join in Tommaso's quest-and experience his heightened awareness-by highlighting one line in bright orange (the curling line of a cat's tail, the springy line of car antenna), the same color that Tommaso has drawn with. Facing each illustration, the text drops out from solid orange; the effect is eye-popping. Ages 5-8. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One day, young Tommaso notices that a line in his favorite drawing, one that he keeps in his pocket and loves, has disappeared. The figures in the drawing include a house, a tree, and Tommaso and his grandmother on a hill, but the line that makes the hill is missing. Tommaso sets out to find it. He has a series of encounters as he goes through the city streets and on a train ride on his way to his grandmother's and the solution to his problem. Pericoli's thin black lines made with dip pen and China ink create an Italian town complete with signs in Italian and a few citizens going about their business. These are quiet scenes with details that echo the text. The words are set in white type on orange pages facing the full-page illustrations set on white. A thin orange line runs across the bottom of the pages, while an orange line appears in almost every scene, disappointing Tommaso because it is not the one he seeks. With his grandmother's help he finds it at last, but why or how it got there is an interesting question. Meanwhile, readers can have fun spotting the other lines. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Tommaso always keeps a drawing in his pocket, one he made himself of his nonna's house on a hill, with both of them standing by the fig tree. But one day the line that forms the hill disappears from the paper. He asks his mother, a dog, a cat, Gregorio the mechanic and Luigi the barber. Each one knows about lines-a leash, a car antenna, hair clippings and so on-but not about Tommaso's line. He goes off by train to see his grandmother, and finally he finds his line, curving gently under her house when they view it together from the base of the hill. This book is beautifully, brilliantly designed: The black-and-white line drawings are alive with energy and squiggle; a red line runs across the bottom of each page and often appears within the illustrations too, marking the dog's leash or the cat's tail. The text appears opposite each picture in a white sans-serif typeface on a red background, so each opening of the book is elegant, balanced and draws readers in. A gem. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375941023
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/9/2008
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Matteo Pericoli is an Italian-born architect and the creator of Manhattan Unfurled; Manhattan Within; See the City: The Journey of Manhattan Unfurled; and The True Story of Stellina. He lives with his wife and daughter in Queens, New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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