Sunday, June 16, 2019

Review - The Clothesline

The Clothesline
by Orbie
Date: 2019
Publisher: Owlkids Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 64
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

This is a story about a little boy who lives above a convenience store with his mom. When he goes to spend his pocket money on candy—only when Mom’s not looking—he gives the knot on the clothesline by the outdoor stairs a good yank (it makes the best sound). One day, he tugs a little too hard, and takes the stairs a little too fast, and—whiiiiiz!—gets stuck hanging smack in the middle of the clothesline.

He cries for help, but Mom doesn’t hear. He waits for someone to save him, but only a black cat slinks by. His arm gets tired—but if he hangs on with both hands, he’ll risk dropping his coins! It’s a true dilemma. Finally, he cries out so loudly that he tumbles to the ground. He still spends his pocket money on candy. But he NEVER touches the clothesline again.

Told in sequential illustrations with simple text and vibrant sound effects, this is a suspenseful narrative offering an accessible entry point to early graphic novels and a lighthearted, laugh-out-loud reminder of the consequences of our choices.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This might be a bit longer than the average picture book, but it's a fast read, and pretty entertaining.

Reggie is five years old. He likes to help his mom. He also likes to tweak the knot on the clothesline as he runs past it down the stairs. One day, he loses his footing and has to grab the knot... which sends him sailing out into the yard, dangling like a piece of laundry. His mom doesn't hear him, so he's forced to wait for some other form of help to arrive. It never does, though...

While I'm not entirely sure Reggie's voice is that of a five-year-old boy, it's sweet nonetheless. He learns a good lesson from his misadventure, which is shown in the final pages; I like seeing that, especially in a kids' book. The illustrations are funny and appealing, showing the various emotions of a young child who's found himself in a scary (for him, anyway) situation.

This is a great story about consequences, problem solving, and learning from past mistakes. But it's all packaged in a kid-friendly format (although adults will probably get a chuckle out of this one as well).

Thank you to NetGalley and Owlkids Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.17 out of 5

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