Review: Draw the Line

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When two boys draw their own lines and realize they can connect them together–magic happens! 

But a misstep causes their lines to get crossed.

Push! Pull! Tug! Yank!
Soon their line unravels into an angry tug-of-war.

With a growing rift between them, will the boys ever find a way to come together again?

Another wordless picture book! Oh, how happy I am to be a librarian in what seems like a golden age of wordless picture books!

Draw the Line is a deceptively simple story of two children who come together, have a falling out, and reconcile. But in Kathryn Otoshi’s skillful hands, this simple story becomes a work of art.

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Otoshi captures the reality of human relationships, whether they are between children, between adults, or even between nations.  The catalyst behind the conflict between the two children isn’t a dramatic event. In fact, it’s a simple accident that causes all of the drama, and which leads to misunderstandings and later outright aggression. As Otoshi so elegantly depicts, it’s so often these minor misunderstandings that can, if left unresolved, lead to much more serious outcomes.

But this is above all a story of hope. By simply reaching out to his new friend, one of the boys is able to bridge the gap between them, and with a bit of work, the friendship is restored. Being  a peacemaker isn’t necessarily about making big gestures or putting on dramatic acts, but rather about being willing to make the first move, to let go of negative emotions, and to find solutions.

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Draw the Line is a beautiful way to start conversations with young readers about friendship, conflict, teamwork, forgiveness, and all sorts of important and meaningful topics. It is elegant, empathetic, and sensitive, and absolutely worth picking up.

Draw the Line

Hardcover, 48 pages
October 10, 2017 : Roaring Book Press
Source: Raincoast Books

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