Friday, October 19, 2018

Review - Lines

by Suzy Lee
Date: 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books (CA)
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

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 frozen pond will charm the youngest of readers while simultaneously astounding book enthusiasts of any age.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Sorry, but... I don't get it.

I'm not new to wordless picture books. I actually quite like them. But this one fell really flat for me. Unlike books like I Walk with Vanessa (which has a story with a message), Journey (which is just a great adventure), or even Flora and the Flamingo (which can be forgiven for having a thin story because its pictures are so darn cute), Lines didn't have anything to engage me. The pictures were rather boring, and the "story" wasn't really anything. And I found it confusing. Was the skater the artist? Or was it the person holding the pencil? What's the significance of the pond at the end? Or the stack of drawings? This is a children's picture book; I shouldn't have to think so hard for it to make sense.

I have a feeling that, had I encountered this as a kid, I would've read it once and then promptly forgotten about it. It's the sort of thing that adults will probably appreciate more than kids (although, I can't say that this adult enjoyed it that much, either).

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: n/a
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.6 out of 5

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