In this deceptively simple wordless picture book, a small girl finds the end of a long black line and picks it up. She wiggles the line, slides down it and spins inside circles made from it. In her hands, the line transforms into bubbles to blow, a jungle vine to swing from and a tightrope to balance on. The girl is having such a good time! Until suddenly, the line turns into a big, hungry monster! Oh, no! Will the little girl be eaten, or will another surprise twist to the line save her from the frightening creature? Young children will become instantly involved in this story, curious to see what's next for the magical line that is transformed again and again, and delighted by the surprise on the last page, where the drawer of the line is revealed. Award-winning illustrator Paula Bossio has created a fresh way to tell an original story full of play and creativity. It offers young children an easy-to-understand yet powerful message about imagination and the nearly limitless ways to have fun. This book makes a perfect story starter for early-elementary children as they begin to explore narrative, either by using one of the girl's creations in the story or by coming up with their own way of turning the line into a plaything. The art concept could also be extended by having children draw their ideas. This book makes a great choice for working on visual literacy with pre-readers.
Bassio's wordless story celebrates childhood fun, from the way the girl sticks out her tongue at the vanquished dragon to the smudges reproduced all over the pages.
Bossio's scratchy, unkempt style gives the figures a sense of frenetic excitement and animation, and the backgrounds include vague shadows of scribbles and smears, all of which lends the sense of something handmade, a work of unfettered imagination.
The Line will help some young readers free their imaginations and produce their own story adventures. A teacher might want to have children respond to the book by laying out lines of yarn and seeing what each child can create. The book could also inspire children to see what their own sketchbook doodles might transform into.
The Line subtly sparks a child's imagination. The book doesn't have to tell you to put away your iPad, it shows you just why you don't need it: a child's wonder is far more interesting.
—The Washington Post