Skunk on a String

In Skunk on a String, we meet a skunk who has been tied to the tail of a balloon.

Try as he might, the persistent critter can’t get anyone to untie him. In this wordless story, he is shooed and swatted through a bustling parade, past the windowpanes of the city’s apartment buildings with their diverse, busy inhabitants, then up to the construction cranes high above the city. He floats through the zoo, into traffic, under water, and eventually lands atop a Ferris wheel. When he finally unties himself, the skunk misses the aerial life — so he comes up with an inspired way to fly again.

Paper collage art in whimsical colors and patterns — polka dots, gingham, and florals —creates a playful dynamic and brilliantly captures details of urban life, from the legs of a crowd to window boxes, spilled ice cream, and clothing flapping on clotheslines. This heartwarming, highly visual adventure takes a new vantage point on the ordinary and shows the skunk expanding his horizons, overcoming adversity, and, eventually, helping himself.

Written and Illustrated by

Thao Lam

Published

March 15, 2016 with Owlkids Books

Starred reviews

  • “Colorful collages present a pleasing balance of white space,interesting patterns, bright solids, and stylized shapes. (Well-read readers will find subtle references to Eric Carle.) [Thao Lam] orchestrates suspense and comedy … there are multiple reasons to return to the beginning, not the least of which is the impulse to figure out how to mimic such clever compositions.” — Kirkus Reviews – STARRED REVIEW

Notable reviews

  • “The varied scenes and Skunk’s comic expressions will keep the youngest readers entertained, offering gentle thrills and plenty of laughs as they observe his unusual predicament.” — Booklist
  • “The skunk’s changing emotions are easy to read, and the possibilities of flight are thoroughly and playfully explored.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “Features clever collage illustrations in bright colours and patterns that expertly move the tale along… With its light and funny story, Skunk on a String is certain to get laughs out of kids of all ages.” — Canadian Children’s Book News

Awards and honours

  • A Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens nominee
  • A Kirkus Best Picture Book of 2016
  • A Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection
  • A Toronto Public Library First and Best List selection, 2016
  • An International Board on Books for Young People Silent Books Collection selection

Awards and honours

  • A Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens nominee
  • A Kirkus Best Picture Book of 2016
  • A Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selection
  • A Toronto Public Library First and Best List selection, 2016
  • An International Board on Books for Young People Silent Books Collection selection

Contact Thao Lam

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