Follow the Line through the House
Written and Illustrated by Laura Ljungkvist
See the little tail on the bottom of the 'F' up there? The one in 'Follow'? That's the beginning of the line, which carries you through the house, the kitchen, the toolbox, the toy box (to mention a few places), out into the backyard, all the way to the tiny tail at the 'E' in 'Goodbye'. Each page describes where you are and gives you several tasks: pink shoes to find, screwdrivers to count, bandages to choose from. Illustrations consist of outlined objects (the line) and background and extra items that are visually very distinct from the path of the line making it easier for little eyes and fingers to follow it from page to page.
Mommy: I'm a pretty linear thinker and I often have trouble with books that don't follow a typical progression, plot, story, etc. (wordless books give me fits!) This one, however, is so easy to follow, and I love the didactic nature of the questions and tasks that the book poses as you go from page to page. It's been an especially good choice to read to the two kids since Josie is able to answer the more difficult questions while Jasper tackles the simple ones, or they are able to work together (hallelujah!) to find all of something. Long after we finished reading it together the two of them were still sitting and looking at the detailed pictures that completely fill every page. We all enjoyed the modern nature of the illustrations and I was taken with the very idea that you could trace the line from page to page. Daddio especially seemed to enjoy reading it :)
That said, I think that if you have a child who is very plot-driven they won't be taken in. It's very interactive by it's nature and if your kid isn't into it they'll be lost.
Josie (5): I liked the pictures and all the things that there were to find. My favorite page was the refrigerator, no the (um, what's that thing where they keep all the band-aids?) medicine cabinet. It was a good book. We should buy it.
Jasper (2.5): Good book. I like do line with my fingah. Oooh, and the wrench. I too like da wrench.
This is Ljungkvist's second book in this series, following "Follow the Line." Her third, Follow the Line Around the World, is coming out this month.
Even after reading this a couple of times, I felt like Josie (5) was kind of missing the point about the images being made of a single line that runs through the book and the artistic challenge that comes with that. With that, I challenged her to draw a picture with only one line. It took a few tries, but she finally got the concept.
Update: Since we did this, I can't seem to get her to pick her pen up! Everything is formed from a single line, from her name in block letters to her usual drawings.