I love the magic that can happen when picture books are written by author/illustrators.
Lucy and the String is one of those magical books. At first I felt like I was being—ah—strung along.
What do you think is at the end of that string?
Take a moment to observe Lucy’s face in that moment of peril. She’s not worried about a snarling creature. She is filled with joy at the possibilities of that marvelous tangle of string.
Turns out that the snarl is a bear…..
A very unhappy bear. Who’s partially bare. Oh no!
Hank, the bear, growls and huffs. Lucy apologizes and then, ever the resourceful child, comes up with an idea to cheer Hank up.
The beginning end papers give the reader a clue about what those things will be.
But Hank doesn’t think she’s entertaining, so Lucy thinks again. This time she whirls about with the string, only to create—a tangle around Hank that turns him into a poorly wound spool. Hank’s ears droop. His half-lidded Garfield eyes express his disappointment.
But Lucy is not one to give up! She wrangles that string into a pair of cow-bear chaps, leaving Hank’s rear regions exposed. Then a tutu, but bears and ballet don’t mix.
Finally, Lucy knits a solution, an enormous sweater. But how will this work? Hanks’ bottom is bare, not his top.
Lucy is now wearing the sweater dress and Hank is wearing her old dress as a skirt. Hank approves, and the pair dance.
This fix was just right.
Then Lucy snips the string that tethers to the two together. Sadness and tears at the sudden separation ensues. Until Lucy tugs at the string again.
And unravels the top part of Hank.
What to do? The solution—
Lucy and Hank knit a scarf that ties them together.
The closing end papers add a marvelous touch.
Once the giggles subside, it becomes apparent that this book intertwines creativity, friendship, and resourcefulness. Congratulations to Vanessa Roeder on her debut!
Pair this book with EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett.
Play with scribble doodling to create your own illustrations like the ones on the end papers and throughout the book.
TITLE: Lucy and the String
Author/Illustrator: Vanessa Roeder
Publisher: Dial Books for young readers, 2018
AGES: Preschool – 2nd grade
Themes: Friendship, Resourcefulness, Creativity
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog.