Book Review: The Line

20 Sep

Today’s book review is for The Line, by Paula Bossio, published by Kids Can Press. I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Line is a wordless book that relies entirely on the illustrations to tell a story. It’s a bit reminiscent of children’s classic Harold and the Purple Crayon, in that the main character, a little girl, is interacting with a child’s drawing. In this case, however, she’s not the creator of the drawing.

As you follow along on the girl’s adventures, you see her shake the line and play as it transforms into a slide, loops, swinging monkeys and more. At the climax she faces a fearsome foe–but is rescued at the last minute by a new friend. The book ends with the audience discovering who is drawing this line.

While many people might look at Bossio’s pencil drawings as messy and childish, I like them. Moreover, I recognize that the illustrative style was an intentional choice. It is meant to have the quality of a child’s drawing. And despite this, she still captures expressions and emotions wonderfully.

I know that wordless stories aren’t always a popular format. However, I think this is one worth giving a chance. They’re great to use with children who can’t read yet or are just learning to read. It provides creative opportunities for kids to tell the story on their own, rather than reciting the text on the page and it encourages the development of decoding a visual environment.

This book earns 4 out of 5 stars. It’s clever and nicely designed. Bossio has a strong concept and execution. And if you’re in doubt–ask your child to read it to you.

You can find more information about this book, including other reviews, at Goodreads.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: The Line”

  1. gooselipslipbalm September 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I love wordless books. It gives me, the adult reader, a chance to “read” a different story every time I open it up. Like you said, Destiny, I think wordless books are also great for pre reading kiddos. Thanks for the review.

    • D. September 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

      Yeah, I love wordless books, too. (Assuming that they’re well done). As a fan of comics, I recognize that a complete story can be told in exclusively visual media just as well as it can in exclusively verbal media.

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