The Line in the Sand

Owlkids. Sept. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771475709.
K-Gr 3–This wordless picture book begins with a stick on the beach. A monster finds it and drags it along, leaving behind a line in the sand. Meanwhile, another group of monsters play, and when two among them, one on either side, notice the line, they become curious. Tension builds and emotions rise as the two engage. Just when those two seem more divided than ever, a bee sends the pair jumping through the sand and the line is erased. Without the arbitrary line separating them, they dissolve into laughter and join the other monsters at play. The concept is clever and the playful art a delight. The wordless format emphasizes how a lack of communication (or miscommunication) can contribute to conflict and leaves a lot of room for interpretation and discussion. The digital collage illustrations combine bold colors, prints, and patterns and give readers plenty of details to notice and visuals to explore—including the view of that very first monster continuing to draw lines with its stick in the background.
VERDICT Another wordless winner from Lam, who knows how to posit questions and trust readers for answers. Recommended for all collections.

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