Follow the Line to School - Thao Lam
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Follow the Line to School

Follow the Line to School

Follow the Line to School

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My blog entries would read like gobbledy goop if it weren’t for the generosity of my friends; Jennifer and Lynne have the tedious task of picking through and polishing up my entries before posting. Writing is a real struggle for me; I would spend hours in front of my computer wrestling with my thoughts. Walking away more than once cursing or procrastinating (my house chores gets done on these days). Pecking away at the keyboard and slowly stringing words together, hoping that by the end I have something comprehensible.

Writing each entry is like pulling teeth, I sweat over it, hum and huh over it. Delete, undo and start over again. I often wonder who is it that I am writing for? Often it feels like I am talking to myself but once in a while I get a shout back; an encouraging word from a reader or an author or an illustrator giving me just enough steam to wrestle out the next entry. Keep reading…

Last week out of the blue sitting in my inbox was an email from Laura Ljungkvist, author and illustrator of Follow the Line. I was totally surprised and honored that I was even on her mailing list. Laura offered me a preview of Follow the Line to School; the fourth in the series of Follow the Line books, which will be released on July 4th.

When reading any of the books in this series I like to follow my finger along the line, following it through the pages as it loops and curves. Follow the Line to School takes you through a typical day of an elementary school student. Follow the line as it makes its way through science, art, music and math class, then off to the cafeteria for lunch. Run, skip and jump in the playground at recess and than head back into the classroom for show and tell and before you know it, it’s 3 o’clock, time to go home.

Having graduated decades ago, Follow the Line to School brings back fond memories of finger painting, trading lunches and chasing boys on the playground. The pages are packed with images that overwhelm the senses that can’t help but bring back memories. Very different from her first book which was very flat and graphic, the illustrations for Follow the Line to School are a collage of cropped photos, textures, flat graphic shapes and hand drawn art. With so much going on sometimes the line gets lost in the art. I also find it really hard to read the text on busy or vibrant colour backgrounds. The font looks like old typewriter text, the line width is not consistent; it fades in some areas of the font, which I think younger readers will find hard to read. It kinds of reminds me of the I Spy books series; there is so much to see and discover. With a set list of questions on each page, Ljungkvist encourages readers to explore and find hidden items among the illustrations, creating an interactive active book. The colours also fight for your attention, placing complementary colours next to each other creates a lively colour palette; everything seems to pop off the pages.

If you have a little one that is about to head off to school for the first time in September, pick up a copy of Follow the Line to School on July 4th and spend the summer familiarizing your child with what to expect on the first day of school, the classes, activities and schedules. I must have flipped through this book a dozen times since I was given a copy, each time was like attending another day of school, there is always something new to learn and discover.

Follow the Line to School, a children’s book review by Thao Lam

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Author and Illustrator Laura Ljungkvist

Laura Ljungkvist was previously profiled on B is for Books, check out her first book in the series of Follow the Line. Or check out her other books at www.followtheline.com


Publisher Viking Juvenile (July 7, 2011)

ISBN-10 0670012262

ISBN-13 978-0670012268