A Long Piece Of String


This book is straight out of the 60s...1963, to be exact, and it shows. It's very cool orange ink-print monochrome with black highlights makes it look very retro. A long black piece of string "ties" together the single object on each page. As you go through, you realize the objects are not random, but actually carefully chosen representations of the 26 letter of the alphabet, in order from A to Z. The string invites the child to trace it's line, looping and loping across the page, around the object and off onto the next page.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Simple subtlety and elegance of line make this a wordless picture book that little fingers can't resist.

Content Awareness Factors:

I thought this was a little abstract for the youngest crowd, but perhaps this is actually a pro?

Little Kid Reaction

My kids picked out this book. My sons loved to trace the string with their fingers. They had fun trying to guess the name of the object on the page, trying to match it to the letter in the alphabet we were supposed to be on.

Parent Reaction

I liked the book OK, but perhaps my ego was bruised because it wasn't until O or P on the first reading that I realized the motivation for the choice of objects. I think once you realize that, the pictures make a lot more sense. Perhaps that is the beauty of this book - that it doesn't hand the children the answer on a silver platter, but instead forces them to think a bit. Also, there is a bit of subtlety that parents will appreciate: N has both a nut and some nuts (a walnut and a hardware nut that screws onto a bolt). Perhaps there is a reason why it was re-released 47 years later...

Type of Book:
This is a very simply presented wordless picture book that leaves the discussion open for the reader to explore on their own
Educational Themes:

This is, in the end, an alphabet book. It's design lets kids create stories and it also introduces the idea visually of a word having more than one meaning.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
5 to 7
Recommended Age To Read Together:
2 to 5
Age of child:
Read with children ages 3 and 5.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow or buy. Honestly, I am still unsure of what I think of this book. I don't know that it would keep my child's interest after 4-5 readings, as the novelty would wear off. Perhaps it is better as a library book that can be returned for a fresh story.

Title A Long Piece of String
Author William Wondriska
Publisher Chronicle Books © 2010
Illustrators William Wondriska
ISBN 9780811874939
Material Hard Cover
Cost $15.99
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Other Reviews:

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