Review: Lines

It starts with a line. Whether made by the tip of a pencil

or the blade of a skate, the magic starts there. 

And magic once again flows from the pencil and imagination of internationally acclaimed artist Suzy Lee. With the lightest of touches, this masterwork blurs the lines between real and imagined, reminding us why Lee’s books have been lauded around the world, recognized on New York Times Best Illustrated Books lists and nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international honor given to children’s book creators. This seemingly simple story about a young skater on a frozenpond will charm the youngest of readers while simultaneously astounding book enthusiasts of any age.

I love wordless picture books. I really, really do. There’s just something so inspiring about a wordless picture book. I love the way they encourage young readers (and old readers, for that matter) to explore, experience and interact with the illustrations and create their own stories, their own interpretations. Wordless picture books can also inspire young writers who are convinced that they “can’t write” – stories can take all sorts of forms, and can be expressed in all sorts of different ways!

Suzy Lee is a master of the wordless picture book –  her previous successes include Wave and Shadow, two wonderful stories that engage the imagination in delightful ways.

Image result for Lines Suzy Lee

In Lines, Lee uses a little ice skater to tell a story of creative expression, failure and perseverance that will resonate with audiences in different ways. Again, one of the reasons I love wordless picture books is that there usually isn’t one definitive “story” – different readers can find in the illustrations their own stories, their own meanings. I read Lines as an exploration of creativity and the struggle creators can often have with perfectionism, or with failure. When the little skater performs at her best, the results are a thing of complete beauty, but when she falls, everything else seems to fall apart, and the art she has created is crumpled into an angry paper ball. All is not lost, though, and with a bit of help the little skater discovers a new way to create incredible art.

Readers will likely find their own meaning in Lines, and that’s exactly as it should be! Definitely find yourself a copy of this elegant, magical picture book and curl up with a good read this winter.


Hardcover, 40 pages
September 5, 2017 : Chronicle Books
Source: Raincoast Books

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