With this entertaining picture book for curious kids and grown-ups alike, Laura Ljungkvist has created a striking piece of artwork and a can't-miss addition to any bookshelf. Using one long line that begins and ends on the book's covers -- and which composes the illustrations throughout the book -- Ljungkvist challenges readers to "follow the line" while spotting shapes and objects in various scenes. Ljungkvist's artwork is original and sophisticated yet still warmly accessible, and this picture book won't fail to deliver simple pleasure with a dynamic punch.
Ljungkvist's signature design element is a continuous line that sashays and scribbles across every spread; in Toni's Topsy-Turvy Telephone Day, it provided a phone cord and faces. Here, readers "follow the line" from "early morning in the big city" to a cottage "where, late at night, everybody is sleeping." Tracing the unstoppable line with a finger, or just with the eyes, readers proceed from the far left to the far right margin of each spread, and pick up the thread with the turn of a page. The meandering line traverses crowded highways, an ocean teeming with fish, a forest full of moose and rabbits, and a suburban town with manicured lawns. It zigzags to shape pine trees and serrated blades of grass, spirals into a snail's shell and loops to form a crab "deep under the water." Slight imperfections in the cursive line, which looks to be painted with a ripple of ink, keep this design exercise from seeming too chilly, and so do the retro color schemes and pleasingly blotchy typewriter print, which nod to '70s handicraft rather than digital rendering. On the way from dawn to dusk, Ljungkvist asks playful questions that turn the spreads into visual puzzles (e.g., "How many shirts are on the clothesline?" or "How many babies are awake?"). These games encourage lingering and can be parceled out in future visits to this simple but satisfying book. Ages 3-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
K-Gr 2-Follow the line, indeed, as it loops, curves, and winds across cityscapes, landscapes, buildings, animals, trees, sky, and water-from early-morning traffic to night. Each deep-hued page encourages a counting of images printed over a busy, endless black line as it outlines figures (and faces) in a succession of graphics imprinted with complementary color shadings. The line simply propels readers on to the next image, question, and page, e.g., "How many striped shirts can you count?" "How many traffic cones can you count?" "How many cars have their headlights on?" An entrancing counting game with a search through detailed art, this title doubles as a vocabulary builder for the youngest readers and includes shapes, colors, and patterns in the search. Following the creative loops and squiggles of the line is entertaining in itself. Ideal for one-on-one sharing.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Harold and his purple crayon have nothing over Ljungkvist, who takes young readers along on a journey from morning to night, from city to sea to village, through page-filling scenes composed, by and large, with one continuous line. Limning simple geometric shapes, that line begins on the front cover, finishes off with a drawn "The End" on the back, and in between, outlines buildings, windows and faces, cars, street signs, sea and air craft, trees and animals-enhanced by colorful filled-in shapes that echo the drawn ones. Lines of text follow along too, inviting viewers of each scene to count flowers, fire hydrants, striped shirts, circles, bows on a kite's tail, kittens, stars and more. As child-friendly as it is technically sophisticated, this will appeal to counters and crayon-wielders alike. (Picture book. 3-6)
"Harold and his purple crayon have nothing over Ljungkvist, who takes young readers along on a journey from morning to night, from city to sea to village, through page-filling scenes composed, by and large, with one continuous line. As child-friendly as it is technically sophisticated, this will appeal to counters and crayon-wielders alike." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review